UT Dallas team works on improved electronic nose design

TxACE researchers have found that using the same circuitry as smartphones will make their electronic nose less expensive. | File photo

The Texas Analog Center of Excellence (TxACE) at UT Dallas has been attempting to create a cost-efficient electronic nose designed to operate in breath analysis for a variety of health diagnoses.

“Smell is one of the senses of humans and animals, and there have been many efforts to build an electronic nose,” Navneet Sharma, the lead author of the paper, said. “We have demonstrated that you can build an affordable electronic nose that can sense many different kinds of smells. When you’re smelling something, you are detecting chemical molecules in the air. Similarly, an electronic nose detects chemical compounds using rotational spectroscopy.”

According to TxACE director Kenneth O, current devices that take part in breath analysis use compound semiconductors but still are large and too expensive for commercial use.

Researchers at TxACE have come up with the idea to use CMOS integrated circuits in the electronic nose, which will bring down its cost. CMOS is a type of integrated-circuits technology that is used in the manufacturing of a large portion of the electronics found in smartphones, tablets and similar devices.

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