A Quartz Crystal Microbalance Based Portable Gas Sensing Platform for On-Demand Human Breath Monitoring

Ryuki Suzuki, Takaki Emura, Yuki Tokura, Naoya Kawamura, Yutaka Hori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The correlation between gas concentrations in human breath and diseases has been increasingly revealed in recent years, triggering the need for cheap and easy-to-use gas sensors that can detect diseases in their early stages. The gas sensors used in these clinical applications need to be portable and sensitive, and preferably provide on-demand measurements for prompt diagnosis. In this paper, we propose a portable and cost-effective sensor platform that can quickly identify gas concentrations in human breath. Specifically, we combined quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) sensors with a single board computer, Raspberry Pi, to enable real-time data processing and display of the sensor data. A web server was operated on the single board computer, and thus, on-demand visualization of the sensor data was possible using a web browser. A gas quantification protocol was also proposed based on Freundlich's adsorption isotherm. We demonstrated the real-time monitoring of methyl mercaptan (MM) gas over the internet using the developed small sensor device, which can easily be handled in one hand. The limit of detection (LOD) for MM gas was 107 ppb when the sensors were operated for 20 minutes after gas injection. The developed gas sensing platform is unmatched in terms of size and cost compared with analytical devices though less sensitive. These advantages would allow for wide distribution of the developed device to hospitals and individuals in large quantities, leading for behavioral changes for preventive care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9154680
Pages (from-to)146166-146171
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Gas sensor
  • QCM
  • methyl mercaptan gas
  • preventive care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering


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