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
'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers
16.02.2018 | National University of Science and Technology MISIS
New process allows tailor-made malaria research
16.02.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
20.02.2018 | Life Sciences
20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering
20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy