Healthcare is a sector that continually evolves, adapts, and innovates. Among the most transformative recent developments in this field is the proliferation of wearable gas sensors. These devices, built with a range of advanced sensing materials, have the ability to detect specific biomarkers in exhaled gases, providing valuable insights into physiological and pathological states of the human body.
Advancements in Wearable Gas Sensors
The recent achievements in wearable gas sensors are remarkable. The sensors can detect various biomarkers in exhaled gas, which can then be correlated with specific diseases. For instance, elevated levels of certain gases can indicate conditions like asthma, diabetes, or even cancer. The main sensing materials applied to these gas sensors include semiconducting metal oxides, C-based materials, hybrid nanomaterials, conductive polymers, and other materials.
Notably, nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and MXenes have been used as gas sensing materials, demonstrating high sensitivity and selectivity. Moreover, 2D transition metal carbides, carbonitrides, and nitrides (MXenes) have shown great potential in wearable sensors. Conductive polymers, including polyaniline, PEDOT:PSS, polypyrrole, and poly(4-vinylpyridine), have also been successfully integrated into flexible wearable sensors.
Further advancements have been realized through the use of metal nanoparticles, metal oxides, and doped materials to enhance the gas-sensitive properties of sensors. The application of two-dimensional materials such as transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs), metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), and paper-based sensors in wearable gas sensors has also been explored, opening up new possibilities for healthcare applications.
Opportunities and Challenges
While wearable gas sensors present numerous opportunities, they also come with challenges. The sensitivity, selectivity, stability, and response speed of these sensors need to be improved for more accurate and reliable health monitoring. Moreover, the integration of these sensors into wearable devices that are comfortable, user-friendly and aesthetically appealing presents another challenge. However, with ongoing research and development, these obstacles are gradually being overcome.
Future of Healthcare Delivery
According to a report by IDTechEx, the digital health market is rapidly evolving, encompassing telehealth, remote patient monitoring, consumer health wearables, digital health apps, and image recognition artificial intelligence for medical diagnosis. Wearable gas sensors form an integral part of this evolution.
In one recent application, a study demonstrated the development and characterization of a 3D paper-based microfluidic electrochemical integrated device (3D PMED) that can measure glucose concentration in sweat in real-time. This device, which is selective for glucose, offers a non-invasive, simple, and accurate means for real-time glucose monitoring in diabetes patients.
Meanwhile, Sibel Health has achieved its 4th FDA clearance for continuous wearable vital signs monitoring with ANNEÂ® One. This device, which includes continuous ambulatory ECG monitoring, SpO2, temperature, and non-invasive blood pressure measurements for individuals 12 years and above in home and hospital settings, demonstrates the real-world potential of wearable gas sensors.
In conclusion, wearable gas sensors represent a significant step forward in healthcare delivery. With further research and development, these devices have the potential to revolutionize personalized healthcare, enabling real-time, non-invasive monitoring of health parameters and early detection of diseases.