Use of a gas-sensor array for detecting volatile organic compounds (VOC) in chemically induced cells

Patrizia Pasini, Nilesh Powar, Ricardo Gutierrez-Osuna, Sylvia Daunert, Aldo Roda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


An application of gas sensors for rapid bioanalysis is presented. An array of temperature-modulated semiconductor sensors was used to characterize the headspace above a cell culture. Recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cells, able to respond to 17β-estradiol by producing a reporter protein, were used as a model system. Yeast cells had the DNA sequence of the human estrogen receptor stably integrated into the genome, and contained expression plasmids carrying estrogen-responsive sequences and the reporter gene lac-Z, encoding the enzyme β-galactosidase. The sensor-response profiles showed small but noticeable discrimination between cell samples induced with 17β-estradiol and non-induced cell samples. The sensor array was capable of detecting changes in the volatile organic compound composition of the headspace above the cultured cells, which can be associated with metabolic changes induced by a chemical compound. This finding suggests the possibility of using cross-selective gas-sensor arrays for analysis of drugs or bioactive molecules through their interaction with cell systems, with the advantage of providing information on their bioavailability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical and bioanalytical chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • 17β-Estradiol
  • Chemically induced cells
  • Drug analysis
  • Metal oxide sensors
  • Recombinant yeast cells
  • Volatile organic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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