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Development of a precision fibre optic CO2 sensor for the potential use in healthcare assessment

This PhD project is focussed on fabricating a carbon dioxide sensor for healthcare monitoring. The use of optical fibre modulations and CO2 sensitive coatings will allow precise measurements to be determined.


James Barrington


Prof Stephen James
Dr Matthew Partridge
Prof Ralph Tatam 

Project overview

Detection and reliable quantification of CO2 is essential for a multitude of applications ranging from leak monitoring in underground CO2 storage reservoirs to tracking patients’ health during medical procedures. Regarding the latter, breath analysis for determining volatile biomarkers of certain pathologies has created a surge of interest in the research community due to its non-invasive nature combined with the opportunity for rapid diagnosis. 

However, breath volatiles are non-homogenous in different lung regions therefore generating difficulties with regards to standardising sampling. The collection of purely end-tidal volume air has been shown to improve the reliability of breath collection, which can be achieved via assessment of expired CO2. Consequently, a CO2 sensor which could be easily integrated with other biomarker detection methods would provide an approach for standardised sampling in these devices.
Utilising fibre optic technology, this project aims to create a CO2 sensor using in-fibre grating modulations and a CO2 sensitive coating in order to achieve sensitivity and selectivity in a sensing element with micro-dimensions.

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