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Nanomedicine (Lond). 2013 May;8(5):785-806. doi: 10.2217/nnm.13.64.

Nanomaterial-based sensors for detection of disease by volatile organic compounds.

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Department of Chemical Engineering & Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 3200002, Israel.


The importance of developing new diagnostic and detection technologies for the growing number of clinical challenges is rising each year. Here, we present a concise, yet didactic review on a new diagnostics frontier based on the detection of disease-related volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by means of nanomaterial-based sensors. Nanomaterials are ideal for such sensor arrays because they are easily fabricated, chemically versatile and can be integrated into currently available sensing platforms. Following a general introduction, we provide a brief description of the VOC-related diseases concept. Then, we focus on detection of VOC-related diseases by selective and crossreactive sensing approaches, through chemical, optical and mechanical transducers incorporating the most important classes of nanomaterials. Selected examples of the integration of nanomaterials into selective sensors and crossreactive sensor arrays are given. We conclude with a brief discussion on the integration possibilities of different types of nanomaterials into sensor arrays, and the expected outcomes and limitations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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