Atmos Environ. 2012 Jul 1;54:679-687. Epub 2012 Feb 7.
Chen C, Campbell KD, Negi I, Iglesias RA, Owens P, Tao N, Tsow F, Forzani E.
Center for Bioelectronics & Biosensors, The Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University.
To improve our understanding of indoor and outdoor personal exposures to common environmental toxicants released into the environment, new technologies that can monitor and quantify the toxicants anytime anywhere are needed. This paper presents a wearable sensor to provide such capabilities. The sensor can communicate with a common smart phone and provides accurate measurement of volatile organic compound concentration at a personal level in real time, providing environmental toxicants data every three minutes. The sensor has high specificity and sensitivity to aromatic, alkyl, and chlorinated hydrocarbons with a resolution as low as 4 parts per billion (ppb), with a detection range of 4 ppb to 1000 ppm (parts per million). The sensor's performance was validated using Gas Chromatography and Selected Ion Flow Tube - Mass Spectrometry reference methods in a variety of environments and activities with overall accuracy higher than 81% (r(2) > 0.9). Field tests examined personal exposure in various scenarios including: indoor and outdoor environments, traffic exposure in different cities which vary from 0 to 50 ppmC (part-per-million carbon from hydrocarbons), and pollutants near the 2010 Deepwater Horizon's oil spill. These field tests not only validated the performance but also demonstrated unprecedented high temporal and spatial toxicant information provided by the new technology.