If the person concerned is ill, there is a shift in the relative quantities of molecules contained in his or her breath. As reported in the current issue of Pictures of the Future magazine, preliminary tests using breath samples from cancer and tuberculosis patients have been very promising. Now the process has to be verified using a larger and more diverse group of people.
According to the World Health Organization, 8.7 million people contracted tuberculosis worldwide in 2011 alone, and the disease killed 1.4 million patients that year. If this disease - which often seems to just be a bad cold when it starts - isn't diagnosed early enough, other people are infected.
One effective solution involves a method that could help doctors recognize tuberculosis easily and early on. A method for reliably identifying lung cancer at an early stage has also been lacking until now. That's why the average life expectancy for a patient diagnosed with lung cancer is currently only around two years.
Scientists working for the Siemens global research department Corporate Technology are making use of the old insight that particular illnesses can be recognized by changes in the odors contained in a person's breath. The cocktail of highly complex molecules contained in a person's breath changes in specific ways when he or she is ill.
Researchers use a quadrupole mass spectrometer to identify individual molecules and determine their concentration in the patient's breath. Here, the substances in the breath sample are electrically charged and accelerated through an electrical field which affects their trajectory. Particles of different weights are deflected to different degrees and thus land at different places on the detectors. In this way a kind of fingerprint is created from which conclusions about diseases can be drawn.
Now that trials with tuberculosis and lung cancer patients have been successful, testing has to be carried out in order to determine what influences age, sex and diet have on measurements. Tests of smokers are also pending. If the initial positive results are confirmed, the technology could be further developed for practical applications. To make it suitable for use in a doctor's office, the spectrometer will have to be made small enough to fit inside a suitcase. Additionally, the software will need to be optimized so that it is simple to use.
Dr. Norbert Aschenbrenner | Siemens InnovationNews
Antibiotic effectiveness imperiled as use in livestock expected to increase
27.03.2015 | Princeton University
A human respiratory tissue model to assess the toxicity of inhaled chemicals and pollutants
26.03.2015 | R&D at British American Tobacco
In an experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists precisely measured the temperature and structure of aluminum as...
The IPH presents a solution at HANNOVER MESSE 2015 to make ship traffic more reliable while decreasing the maintenance costs at the same time. In cooperation with project partners, the research institute from Hannover, Germany, has developed a sensor system which continuously monitors the condition of the marine gearbox, thus preventing breakdowns. Special feature: the monitoring system works wirelessly and energy-autonomously. The required electrical power is generated where it is needed – directly at the sensor.
As well as cars need to be certified regularly (in Germany by the TÜV – Technical Inspection Association), ships need to be inspected – if the powertrain stops...
When an earthquake hits, the faster first responders can get to an impacted area, the more likely infrastructure--and lives--can be saved.
The Atlantic overturning is one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards. Also known as the Gulf Stream system, it is responsible for the mild climate in northwestern Europe.
Scientists now found evidence for a slowdown of the overturning – multiple lines of observation suggest that in recent decades, the current system has been...
Because they are regularly subjected to heavy vehicle traffic, emissions, moisture and salt, above- and underground parking garages, as well as bridges, frequently experience large areas of corrosion. Most inspection systems to date have only been capable of inspecting smaller surface areas.
From April 13 to April 17 at the Hannover Messe (hall 2, exhibit booth C16), engineers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP will be...
25.03.2015 | Event News
19.03.2015 | Event News
17.03.2015 | Event News
27.03.2015 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
27.03.2015 | Materials Sciences
27.03.2015 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation