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Review of Ethanol Intoxication Sensing Technologies and Techniques

Paprocki, S., Qassem, M. & Kyriacou, P. A. ORCID: 0000-0002-2868-485X (2022). Review of Ethanol Intoxication Sensing Technologies and Techniques. Sensors, 22(18), 6819. doi: 10.3390/s22186819


The field of alcohol intoxication sensing is over 100 years old, spanning the fields of medicine, chemistry, and computer science, aiming to produce the most effective and accurate methods of quantifying intoxication levels. This review presents the development and the current state of alcohol intoxication quantifying devices and techniques, separated into six major categories: estimates, breath alcohol devices, bodily fluid testing, transdermal sensors, mathematical algorithms, and optical techniques. Each of these categories was researched by analyzing their respective performances and drawbacks. We found that the major developments in monitoring ethanol intoxication levels aim at noninvasive transdermal/optical methods for personal monitoring. Many of the “categories” of ethanol intoxication systems overlap with each other with to a varying extent, hence the division of categories is based only on the principal operation of the techniques described in this review. In summary, the gold-standard method for measuring blood ethanol levels is through gas chromatography. Early estimation methods based on mathematical equations are largely popular in forensic fields. Breath alcohol devices are the most common type of alcohol sensors on the market and are generally implemented in law enforcement. Transdermal sensors vary largely in their sensing methodologies, but they mostly follow the principle of electrical sensing or enzymatic reaction rate. Optical devices and methodologies perform well, with some cases outperforming breath alcohol devices in terms of the precision of measurement. Other estimation algorithms consider multimodal approaches and should not be considered alcohol sensing devices, but rather as prospective measurement of the intoxication influence. This review found 38 unique technologies and techniques for measuring alcohol intoxication, which is testament to the acute interest in the innovation of noninvasive technologies for assessing intoxication.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: ethanol; intoxication; sensors; devices; algorithms
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QD Chemistry
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

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