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Dr. Salem Abdennadher
Intel Corporation - USA

Pr. Mohamed Masmoudi
National Engineering School of Sfax (ENIS) - Tunisia

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IEEE DTS’21 tutorial

Tutorial 1
Use of Electronic Nose and Electronic Tongue as Innovative Instruments for Real-Time Disease diagnosis and Foodstuffs Analysis

Presenter:
Full name: Prof. Benachir Bouchikhi
Affiliation: Sensor Electronic & Instrumentation Group, Department of Physics, Faculty of Sciences, Moulay Ismaïl University of Meknes, B.P. 11201, Zitoune, Meknes, Morocco.
Email:
benachir.bouchikhi@gmail.com

Presenter Biography:

Benachir Bouchikhi received his Ph.D degree at Aix-Marseille University, France, and his Dr. Sc. Degree in electronics from the University of Nancy I, France, in 1982 and1988, respectively. Presently, he is a full professor at the Faculty of Sciences-Moulay Ismail Universty of Meknes, Morocco, since 1994. He is the Director of the Laboratory of Electronics, Automatic and Biotechnology. His research interests cover topics of wide range: nanomaterials-based chemical and/or electrochemical sensors (electronic noses, electronic tongues), for clinical and industrial applications (disease diagnosis. food safety, environmental monitoring). He is author or co-author of 149 scientific papers. During the last 15 years, he has managed about 20 national and international bilateral projects with many European universities, in the area of breath analysis and food safety. He has supervised 13 PhD theses, 4 in preparation, 3 Dr Sc-Degree, and 4 Habilitations. He was a member of the H2020-MSCA-RISE-2014 project TROPSENSE: "Development of a non-invasive breath test for early diagnosis of tropical diseases" (Reference No: 645758), and of the H2020-MSCA-RISE-2020 project CANLEICH: "Non-invasive volatiles test for canine leishmaniasis diagnosis" (Reference No: 101007653).

Tutorial Summary:

Previous finding shown that the composition of the breath of patients with cancer contains information that could be used to detect the disease. Sensor arrays technologies including electronic nose (e-nose) and electronic tongue (e-tongue) proved to be useful to screen samples characterized by different headspace composition. Here we present the possibility of using an electronic sensing system to check whether volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in exhaled breath and urine samples diagnose liver cirrhosis (LCi). Breath and urine samples were collected from 22 patients with LCi and 32 healthy controls (HC). In addition, eectronic sensing system have been also used to analyze the odours of a variety of foods and beverages. Food quality depends on color, aroma, and flavor. Aroma is analyzed traditionally using sensory or gas chromatographic methods. However, these traditional methods are time consuming, expensive, and require sample preparation. There is growing interest in new rapid methods. Electronic noses (e-nose) as well as e-tongue offer several advantages such as high sensitivity, quickness, simplicity, lower cost, nondestructive operation, and little or no sample preparation compared to traditional methods. Unlike traditional analytical methods, the electronic sensing technology does not provide information on the nature of the analyzed product; it only gives a digital "fingerprint" which can be analyzed chemometrically. The `electronic nose' consists of an array of gas sensors with different selectivity patterns, signal handling and a sensor signal pattern recognition and decision strategy. The `electronic tongue', which was developed for the taste analysis of liquids by using cyclic voltammetry as a measurement technique. In this tutorial, we present an overview about the mechanism of gas sensing in semiconductor metal oxide and reviews why using it as sensing of gases in electrical applications related first to sensing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) assay in exhaled breath and urine samples by using an e-nose and VE-tongue, respectively. The second application will be focused on the use of the two systems for the assessment of food properties related, to the detection of adulteration, prediction of sensory properties, and classification of different food matrices. Examples of investigations of foodstuffs will be presented including juices, olive oil and saffron. Measurement data from the artificial smell and taste sensors are used to produce sensor-specific opinions about these two human-like sensing modalities. Using pattern recognition methods such (PCA, DFA, SVMs), it is shown that both the electronic nose and the electronic tongue alone can discriminate reasonably between experimental samples. The combination of an electronic tongue and an electronic nose for classification is described. When combining information from both the electronic nose and the electronic tongue, however, the classification properties are clearly improved.

Keywords: Liver cirrhosis; exhaled breath analysis; urine analysis; electronic sensing system; Foodstuffs analysis; Pattern recognition methods.

Tutorial 2
Nucleic Acid-Free Amplification Methods for the Detection of RNAs as Biomarkers for Emerging Diseases

Presenter:
Full name: Prof. Noureddine Raouafi
Affiliation: Sensors and Biosensors Group, Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry & Electrochemistry (LR99ES15), Faculty of Science, University of Tunis El Manar, 2092 Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia.
Email:
noureddine.raouafi@fst.utm.tn

Presenter Biography:

Noureddine Raouafi is a Full Professor of chemistry, he is currently leading the Sensors and Biosensors Group and heading the Laboratory Analytical Chemistry and Electrochemistry at the University of Tunis El Manar (Tunis, Tunisia). His research interests are dedicated to the design of electrochemical- and optical-active nanomaterials and their uses to develop new electrochemical and optical (bio)sensing platforms for healthcare, food safety and environment monitoring. He published 90+ papers on the subject and patented few nanodevices for the sensing of biomarkers for various diseases and the monitoring of food contaminants. He is also coordinating several national federative project (PRF) implicating partners from biology, virology and chemistry to develop innovative sensing bioplatforms to tackle several related to cancer diagnostics, bacteria and virus detection in cattle and fish. He is also a coordinating and PI in two COVID-19 PRF projects funded by the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research aiming to provide innovative solutions for SARS-CoV2 diagnosis.

Tutorial Summary:

Effective identification of the presence of specific nucleic acid targets, as well as their sequence alterations, are vital for accurate diagnosis and appropriate management of cancer, infections and genetic diseases. Clinical decision-making stands to benefit from ultrasensitive molecular diagnostic tools that identify disease-related changes in biomarker levels before advanced clinical signs and symptoms manifest. Thus far, ribonucleic acid (RNA) has been identified as promising diagnostic biomarkers for various diseases. Moreover, many methods that enable rapid, sensitive and specific analysis of RNA sequences have positive effects on precise disease diagnostics and effective clinical treatments. Currently, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is the most widely amplification method used to amplify target RNA for reliable detection. Although, this technique is highly sensitive and accurate, it requires bulky instruments and sophisticated operations and it is therefore not field deployable. In fact, point-of-care testing (POCT) systems using isothermal techniques such as loop-mediated isothermal amplification have emerged as rapid and efficient amplification methods without thermal cycling simplifying the procedure and the equipment required. Biosensing technology has effectively shown great promise for the rapid testing and screening of the population with sensitivity and specificity levels comparable to laboratory techniques especially with the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. In this tutorial, we present several strategies that can be used to sensitively detect femtomolar levels of RNA without the need to amplify the target sequence. Using, horse-radish peroxide (HRP) as a cost-effective enzyme, we were able to detect femtomolar levels of miRNA, RNA sequences of SARS-CoV-2, Nodavirus, etc. Furthermore, we used hybridization chain reaction (HCR) amplify the readout signal in order to detect piRNA-651 as a novel cancer biomarker. The combination of HCR with CRISPR-Dx has been demonstrated to be effective in the development of highly sensitive analysis of target piRNA. Nowadays, these devices can be coupled to smart electronic systems to allow signal processing and transmission to physicians or to central servers to allow the monitoring of health status remotely and data collection related to epidemics such as viral infections. Current COVID-19 pandemics showed the urgent need for such smart systems.

Keywords: RT-qPCR, isothermal amplification methods, HCR, RNA, biomarkers, COVID-19, CRISPR-Cas9a, Biosensor, Fluorescence.