This paper presents a portable exhaled breath analyser, developed to detect selected diseases. The set-up employs resistive gas sensors: commercial MEMS sensors and prototype gas sensors made of WO3 gas sensing layers doped with various metal ingredients. The set-up can modulate the gas sensors by applying UV light to induce physical changes of the gas sensing layers. The sensors are placed in a tiny gas chamber of a volume of about 22 ml. Breath samples can be either injected or blown into the gas chamber when an additional pump is used to select the last breath phase. DC resistance and resistance fluctuations of selected sensors using separate channels are recorded by an external data acquisition board. Low-noise amplifiers with a selected gain were used together with a necessary bias circuit. The set-up monitors other atmospheric parameters interacting with the responses of resistive gas sensors (humidity, temperature, atmospheric pressure). The recorded data may be further analysed to determine optimal detection methods.
This paper analyses the effectiveness of determining gas concentrations by using a prototype WO3 resistive gas sensor together with fluctuation enhanced sensing. We have earlier demonstrated that this method can determine the composition of a gas mixture by using only a single sensor. In the present study, we apply Least-Squares Support-Vector-Machine-based (LS-SVM-based) nonlinear regression to determine the gas concentration of each constituent in a mixture. We confirmed that the accuracy of the estimated gas concentration could be significantly improved by applying temperature change and ultraviolet irradiation of the WO3 layer. Fluctuation-enhanced sensing allowed us to predict the concentration of both component gases.