Graduate Studies


First Advisor

Dr. Eric J. Markvicka

Date of this Version

Fall 12-6-2021


Finnegan, Jason, "Design and Development of a Flexible, Battery-free, Wireless, Wearable Electronic Nose for Disease Detection" (2021). Mechanical (and Materials)? Engineering -- Dissertations, Theses, and Student Research


A THESIS submitted to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Mechanical Engineering & Applied Mechanics, Under the Supervision of Professor Eric J. Markvicka. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2021

Copyright (c) 2021 Jason Finnegan


The objective of this project was to develop a wearable device that would be able to diagnose COVID-19 in a quick and cost-effective manner. To solve this problem, we combined previously developed technology of an electronic nose (e-nose) made up of an array of carbon nanotube (CNT)/polymer composites and wireless, battery free, flexible technology. This device is able to passively interact with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air, harvest power from a mobile device, gather data from each sensor, and store that data on a secure database that can be analyzed and tested against previously gathered data or trained algorithms.

The device was fully developed and manufactured on a flexible printed circuit board (PCB). The finished device was verified in the lab against VOCs that are commonly expelled from the body. An android application was developed to read data from the sensors and write the data to a secure database for later analysis. A human study was then set up to test the device against patients with COVID-19. The study was set up to compare the responses of patients that tested positive for COVID-19 and those who tested negative but showed similar symptoms.

Advisor: Eric Markvicka