This chapter describes the use of electronic noses in the field of clinical microbiology. These devices can be used to detect volatile organic compounds directly from clinical materials and can also be applied to monitor the production of volatiles during the process of microbiological culture. Various electronic nose appliances have been developed, but most need rigorous normalization and standardization each and every time that the sensors are renewed. In this chapter, the authors focus on a recently developed, patented micro-technology that does not require regular normalization. Using metal oxide sensors and electronic nose technology allows the dynamic analysis of volatile molecule production during bacterial fermentation to be performed, which will facilitate the real-time detection and identification of live bacteria present within clinical specimens.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases