Incorporation of VOC-Selective Peptides in Gas Sensing Materials

Oliveira, A, Ramou E, Teixeira G, Palma S, Roque A.  2022.  Incorporation of VOC-Selective Peptides in Gas Sensing Materials, feb. Proceedings of the 15th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies. :25–34.


Enhancing the selectivity of gas sensing materials towards specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is
challenging due to the chemical simplicity of VOCs as well as the difficulty in interfacing VOC selective
biological elements with electronic components used in the transduction process. We aimed to tune the
selectivity of gas sensing materials through the incorporation of VOC-selective peptides into gel-like gas
sensing materials. Specifically, a peptide (P1) known to discriminate single carbon deviations among benzene
and derivatives, along with two modified versions (P2 and P3), were integrated with gel compositions
containing gelatin, ionic liquid and without or with a liquid crystal component (ionogels and hybrid gels
respectively). These formulations change their electrical or optical properties upon VOC exposure, and were
tested as sensors in an in-house developed e-nose. Their ability to distinct and identify VOCs was evaluated
via a supervised machine learning classifier. Enhanced discrimination of benzene and hexane was detected
for the P1-based hybrid gel. Additionally, complementarity of the electrical and optical sensors was observed
considering that a combination of both their accuracy predictions yielded the best classification results for the
tested VOCs. This indicates that a combinatorial array in a dual-mode e-nose could provide optimal
performance and enhanced selectivity.



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