Chemical and Biological Sensor Systems for Personal Health Care Applications

E. Simon (Germany)

Keywords

Personal health care, integrated chemical and biological sensors, in vitro diagnostics, exhaust gas detection, asthma, allergy, Immunobiochip, DNA chip

Abstract

Within the coming decades there will be a need for improved personal healthcare. Sensor systems can provide cost-effective solutions and applications, and can lead to a shift of healthcare from specialized and provider centric actually existing approaches towards proactive, integrated, and patient centric solutions. The integration of complex functionalities into small sensor systems is the leverage to robust functionality and limitation in price. Since medieval times it is well known that the smell of the body odour of humans or of the exhaled air gives an indication for the presence of a disease. The detection of certain marker gases in breath as a simple and non invasive method, and the correlation to malfunction of the respiratory tract, metabolic diseases or other dysfunctions is one aim in view of personal health care. One medical target application is e.g. Asthma Bronchiale which is a widespread disease with prevalence in of 5-15% and shows a well defined and well described marker gas, nitrogen oxide (NO) in the exhaled air which can be used for therapy control or asthma diagnostics. Sensor systems for diagnosis and therapy of diseases can also be useful for the detection of target compounds (biomarkers) in body fluidics like blood or urine. The combination of different transducer principles with biological receptor layers results to sensor systems which can be applied to different important medical relevant tasks. Biosensor arrays integrated in CMOS chips which allow a fully electronic signal read of the biological information can reduce the device costs and simplify the sensor system. These advantages open the way to new applications in the field of clinical diagnosis, especially in view of point of care systems e.g. simple allergy tests.

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