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Non-invasive body fat burn monitoring from exhaled acetone with Si-doped WO3 sensing nanoparticles

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Güntner Andreas, Sievi Noriane, Theodore Jonathan, Gulich Tobias, Kohler Malcolm, Pratsinis Sotiris,
Project Integrated system for in operando characterization and development of portable breath analyzers
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Analytical Chemistry
Volume (Issue) 89
Page(s) 10578 - 10584
Title of proceedings Analytical Chemistry


Obesity is a global health threat on the rise and its prevalence continues to grow. Yet suitable biomedical sensors to monitor the body fat burn rates in situ to guide physical activity or dietary interventions toward efficient weight loss are missing. Here, we introduce a compact and inexpensive breath acetone sensor based on Si-doped WO3 nanoparticles that can accurately follow body fat burn rates in real-time. We tested this sensor on 20 volunteers during exercise and rest and measured their individual breath acetone concentrations in good agreement to bench-top proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PTR-TOF-MS). During exercise, this sensor reveals clearly the onset and progression of increasing breath acetone levels that indicate intensified body fat metabolism, as validated by parallel venous blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BOHB) measurements. Most important, we found that the body fat metabolism was especially pronounced for most volunteers during fasting for 3 h after exercise. As a result, this simple breath acetone sensor enables easily applicable and hand-held body fat burn monitoring for personalized and immediate feed-back on workout effectiveness that can guide dieting as well.