Congratulations to Carolina Tropini, Sijie Liu, Adel Yavarinasab, Stephane Flibotte for their paper An impedance-based chemiresistor for the real-time, simultaneous detection of gut microbiota-generated short-chain fatty acids in Science Direct. Their discovery offers a leap forward in the medical sector, offering instantaneous and direct reporting on the availability of SCFAs.

The team envisions a future where molecules important for health can be measured rapidly in the clinic and this is a step to allow that for these critical anti-inflammatory compounds.

SCFAs are key molecules, produced by gut bacteria in the intestine, that are absorbed into the bloodstream and strongly influence human health. SCFA disruption and imbalances have been linked to many diseases; however, SCFAs are seldom used diagnostically as their detection requires extensive sample preparation and expensive equipment. In this work, the team developed an electrochemical sensor that enables real-time (requiring less than 2 min per measurement), quantitative measurement of SCFAs from complex samples in liquid phase without the need for extraction, evaporation, or destruction. The end product is a miniaturized sensor that is highly stable and sensitive, making it ideal for real-time monitoring applications.