Development of Conducting Polymer Sensor Arrays for Wound Monitoring

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Arthur Bailey


The aim of this research was to develop an array of conducting polymer gas sensors as part of an electronic nose designed for monitoring the metabolites produced from the bacteria present in wounds. The device was designed to be a portable system that could discriminate between relevant bacteria non-invasively using solid phase microextraction and an array of conducting polymers and metal oxide sensors in conjunction with pattern-recognition software.In order to develop the sensors, GC/MS headspace analysis of a selection of bacterial species that are most commonly found to be present in wounds was first undertaken in order to determine the volatile key markers. The chosen key markers were then used as calibration gases in order to test and develop the sensors. Electrochemical techniques were used to polymerise and study a variety of conducting polymers, focusing on polypyrrole based sensors with differing functionality. The use of different dopant ions was also studied in an effort to optimise the sensitivities of the polymer sensors.The results of electrochemical development and gas testing were used to elucidate the optimal sensor array in relation to the calibration gases used, which was subsequently used in the hybrid device prototype. the conducting polymer sensors did not perform well using solid phase microextraction sampling methods, results using a direct injection method of the headspace showed that the device could discriminate between Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphyloccocus aureus.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Aug 2011