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Ethanol vapor detection in saline solution using piezoresistive microcantilevers

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8 Author(s)
Cheney, C.Parks ; Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Tennessee, 401 Nielsen Physics Building, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-1200 ; Wig, A. ; Hedden, D.L. ; Gehl, A.
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We report detection of ethanol in a phosphate buffered saline (PBS) solution using a low-power piezoresistive microcantilever-based system that has the potential to be used in the human body. PBS was used to simulate interstitial fluid and a permeable hydrophobic membrane was employed to transport ethanol vapor to the sensor while blocking the liquid and ions of the PBS. Commercial gold-coated cantilevers were functionalized with polymers for optimal ethanol response. Advantages of this device are its low-power consumption, its high sensitivity, and its capabilities for miniaturization into an implantable capsule. The limit of detection for ethanol in PBS was found to be less than 100 ppm or 8 mg/dl.

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Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:77 ,  Issue: 9 )