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Self-Healable Sensors Based Nanoparticles for Detecting Physiological Markers via Skin and Breath: Toward Disease Prevention via Wearable Devices

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journal contribution
posted on 21.06.2016, 00:00 by Han Jin, Tan-Phat Huynh, Hossam Haick
Flexible and wearable electronic sensors are useful for the early diagnosis and monitoring of an individual’s health state. Sampling of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) derived from human breath/skin or monitoring abrupt changes in heart-beat/breath rate should allow noninvasive monitoring of disease states at an early stage. Nevertheless, for many reported wearable sensing devices, interaction with the human body leads incidentally to unavoidable scratches and/or mechanical cuts and bring about malfunction of these devices. We now offer proof-of-concept of nanoparticle-based flexible sensor arrays with fascinating self-healing abilities. By integrating a self-healable polymer substrate with 5 kinds of functionalized gold nanoparticle films, a sensor array gives a fast self-healing (<3 h) and attractive healing efficiency in both the substrate and sensing films. The proposed platform was used in sensing pressure variation and 11 kinds of VOCs. The sensor array had satisfactory sensitivity, a low detection limit, and promising discrimination features in monitoring both of VOCs and pressure variation, even after full healing. These results presage a new type of smart sensing device, with a desirable performance in the possible detection and/or clinical application for a number of different purposes.