A transcutaneous hydrogen sensor: From design to application

Oomman K. Varghese, Xiping Yang, James Kendig, Maggie Paulose, Kefeng Zeng, Charles Palmer, Keat Ghee Ong, Craig A. Grimes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


A transcutaneous hydrogen gas sensor of unprecedented sensitivity was fabricated and applied as a diagnostic tool for determining lactose intolerance due to lactase deficiency. The sensor, based on the use of highly-ordered titania nanotube arrays made by anodization of a 250 μm thick titanium foil, shows a change in electrical resistance of 8.7 orders of magnitude when cycled between air and nitrogen containing 1000 ppm of hydrogen. The sensor is completely reversible with a response time of about 30 seconds. Lactose intolerance tests were conducted at the Pediatric Gastroenterology Clinic of the Penn State Children's Hospital, where the transcutaneous hydrogen gas concentration from lactose intolerant patients was monitored and compared to hydrogen levels in exhaled breath. Results indicate a direct correlation between the transcutaneous and exhaled-breath hydrogen gas concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-128
Number of pages9
JournalSensor Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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