Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

What breath reveals: detecting diseases with infrared sensors / prestigious prize for chemists

13.07.2016

'Please blow into this bag': what is known to drivers from traffic controls could increasingly complement blood checks in medical examinations. Scientists around Professor Boris Mizaikoff, Director of the Institute of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (IABC) at Ulm University, developed a breath gas analysis method ('μbreath') which allows them to diagnose various diseases in humans – in some cases before they even break out. The team recently received an award by the British Royal Society of Chemistry for their application-oriented infrared sensors.

'The body's metabolism is reflected in the compounds present in the exhaled breath. On the basis of minuscule molecules, which are chemically altered or changed in presence or concentration in the case of physical disease, not only diseases of the lungs but also of the liver, the kidneys and even breast cancer can be diagnosed at – more or less – early stages,' Professor Boris Mizaikoff explains.


Prof. Mizaikoff’s advanced breath diagnostic device

Eberhardt/Ulm University

Because the low concentration of the trace gases requires highly sensitive instruments, breath gas analysis had been too expensive for the average medical practice – until now. In collaboration with specialised companies Mizaikoff currently develops a novel, cost-efficient method which can measure several trace gases simultaneously in small sample volumes. The so-called infrared spectroscopy takes place inside a hollow optical waveguide – developed by the IABC – into which the patient's exhaled breath is pumped.

In this mixture a frequency-tunable laser beam detects 'molecular fingerprints' of disease-specific biomarkers. The measured concentration of these markers might even make it possible to draw conclusions regarding the stage of a disease, as well as the treatment progress. Another advantage of μbreath:

The optical waveguides can be integrated into very small substrates, and in the future also into tiny chips, and are therefore much more versatile in their application. There is one current limitation: 'Changes in breath gas can also have non-pathological causes – due to diet for example. Therefore, to avoid measurement errors our sensor should be combined with an orthogonal analytical method in medical diagnostics for the time being,' Boris Mizaikoff says.

Ulm University offers an exceptional biomedical research environment for the optimisation of this non-invasive technology: at the collaborative trauma research centre 1149, for example, Mizaikoff’s team conducts sensor experiments in collaboration with the team around Professor Peter Radermacher, Director of the Institute of Anaesthesiologic Pathophysiology and Process Development at Ulm University Hospital.

'We were already able to demonstrate in the mouse model that it is possible to continuously monitor liver function with a μbreath analyser connected to a lung ventilator,' the chemist states. Moreover, relevant basics of lung physiology are being researched at the recently accredited graduate school PULMOSENS – and the fellows might quite possibly haul breath gas analysis into clinical application. A spin-off is certainly conceivable.

In fact, the novel technology is not limited to medical diagnostics but is also applied in environmental analytics. It all started as a collaboration with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL, USA): the German-American scientists had been searching for a way to detect gaseous hazardous substances – and now their patented technology is the basis of breath gas diagnostics.

With the second prize of the 'Emerging Technology Competition' (category 'Health and Wellbeing'), hosted by the 'Royal Society of Chemistry', come valuable industry contacts, support for a potential spin-off by a global player, plus 3000 British pounds as reward for the research team around Professor Mizaikoff. The first prize went to the researchers of Scottish St. Andrews University.

'We never dreamed of receiving a prize for application-oriented technologies for a novel analytical method which we first published only three years ago in the journal "Analytical Chemistry",' says the researcher from Ulm. The jury members are top-class representatives of the pharmaceutical industry, which suggests great potential for μbreath. 'The interest within industry is high: we already receive numerous enquiries regarding our breath gas analytics,' Professor Mizaikoff adds.

The measuring method is currently being refined under Mizaikoff’s leadership in the course of the 'Advanced Photonic Sensor Materials' project. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the programme M-ERA.NET. Highly specialised companies in Germany and Austria are involved alongside the Institute of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry.

Further information: Prof. Dr. Boris Mizaikoff: +49 731 50-22750, boris.mizaikoff@uni-ulm.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://t1p.de/rcs-winners2016 Winners „Emerging Technologies Competition“

Annika Bingmann | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Analytical Chemistry breath infrared sensors lung trace gases

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht BMBF funding for diabetes research on pancreas chip
08.02.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann
20.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>