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Title: Electronic nose implementation for biomedical applications
Author: Esfahani, Siavash
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 7078
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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The growing rate of diabetes and undiagnosed diabetes related diseases is becoming a worldwide major health concern. The motivation of this thesis was to make use of a technology called the ‘electronic nose’ (eNose) for diagnosing diseases. It presents a comprehensive study on metabolic and gastro-intestinal disorders, choosing diabetes as a target disease. Using eNose technology with urinary volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is attractive as it allows non-invasive monitoring of various molecular constituents in urine. Trace gases in urine are linked to metabolic reactions and diseases. Therefore, urinary volatile compounds were used for diagnosis purposes in this thesis. The literature on existing eNose technologies, their pros and cons and applications in biomedical field was thoroughly reviewed, especially in detecting headspace of urine. Since the thesis investigates urinary VOCs, it is important to discover the stability of urine samples and their VOCs in time. It was discovered that urine samples lose their stability and VOCs emission after 9 months. A comprehensive study with 137 diabetic and healthy control urine samples was done to access the capability of commercially available eNose instruments for discrimination between these two groups. Metal oxide gas sensor based commercial eNose (Fox 4000, AlphaMOS Ltd) and field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometer (Lonestar, Owlstone Ltd) were used to analyse volatiles in urinary headspace. Both technologies were able to distinguish both groups with sensitivity and specificity of more than 90%. Then the project moved onto developing a Non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) sensor system that is non-invasive, low-cost, precise, rapid, simple and patient friendly, and can be used at both hospitals and homes. NDIR gas sensing is one of the most widely used optical gas detection techniques. NDIR system was used for diagnosing diabetes and gastro related diseases from patient’s wastes. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first and only developed tuneable NDIR eNose system. The developed optical eNose is able to scan the whole infrared range between 3.1μm and 10.5 μm with step size of 20 nm. To simulate the effect of background humidity and temperature on the sensor response, a gas test rig system that includes gas mixture, VOC generator, humidity generator and gas analyser was designed to enable the user to have control of gas flow, humidity and temperature. This also helps to find out system’s sensitivity and selectivity. Finally, after evaluating the sensitivity and selectivity of optical eNose, it was tested on simple and complex odours. The results were promising in discriminating the odours. Due to insufficient sample batches received from the hospital, synthetic urine samples were purchased, and diabetic samples were artificially made. The optical eNose was able to successfully separate artificial diabetic samples from non-diabetic ones.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: R Medicine (General) ; TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering