Identification of a large pool of microorganisms with an array of porphyrin based gas sensors

Nicola M. Zetola, Chawangwa Modongo, Keikantse Mathlagela, Enoch Sepako, Ogopotse Matsiri, Tsaone Tamuhla, Bontle Mbongwe, Eugenio Martinelli, Giorgio Sirugo, Roberto Paolesse, Corrado Di Natale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The association between volatile compounds (VCs) and microorganisms, as demonstrated by several studies, may offer the ground for a rapid identification of pathogens. To this regard, chemical sensors are a key enabling technology for the exploitation of this opportunity. In this study, we investigated the performance of an array of porphyrin-coated quartz microbalance gas sensors in the identification of a panel of 12 bacteria and fungi. The porphyrins were metal complexes and the free base of a functionalized tetraphenylporphyrin. Our results show that the sensor array distinguishes the VC patterns produced by microorganisms in vitro. Besides being individually identified, bacteria are also sorted into Gram-positive and Gram-negative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number466
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Microorganisms
  • Porphyrins
  • Quartz microbalance
  • Volatile compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of a large pool of microorganisms with an array of porphyrin based gas sensors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this