Chemical Substances

  • Ying Fu
  • Anneng Yang
  • Feng YanEmail author


Seamless monitoring of chemical substances plays a key role in long-term health management, forensics, and security applications. Numerous wearable sensors have been developed to detect different kinds of chemical substances, such as gas, ethanol, urine, glucose, DNA, RNA, and so on. Gas emitted by human can be selectively detected by gas sensor and used as a reference in clinical diagnosis. Glucose sensor can detect the exact concentration of glucose in human blood and can also be used for controllable insulin delivery to reduce the pain to diabetic. The trace elements sensor can detect extremely low concentrations of elements in bio-sample that can be acted as an indicator for certain disease. Moreover, biomarker sensor provides an elusive goal for molecular diagnostics with high accuracy, which is an important tool in early preclinical diagnosis. Portable sensors can be used to detect the amount of ethanol in exhaled gas to confirm whether a driver gets drunk driving. The chemical substances are basically divided into four categories: gas/odor, glucose, trace elements, and biomarker. These sensors could be operated by electrochemical reaction, optical detector, and/or immune antigen-antibody reaction. Electrochemical sensors operate by reacting with the substances of interest and producing an electrical signal proportional to the concentration of analyte (such as hydrogen peroxide in body fluids). The purpose of an optical sensor is to measure a physical quantity of light (such as the amount of light that is scattered by analyte), depending on the type of sensor, and convert the readout to an integrated device to display. Immunosensors can be operated by immunochemical reaction in which antibody immobilized on the solid-state devices can couple with desired analyte (antigens) to produce a transducer signal that can be detected by electrochemical or optical device. Based on the high selectivity of antigen-antibody reaction, the immunosensors can be used for accurate and fast detection of certain biomarker.


Sensors Gas and odor Glucose Bacteria Saliva Tears Sweat Urine Body fluid Excrement Biomarker Healthcare 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied PhysicsThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung Hom, KowloonHong Kong

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