Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chemical warfare agent detection technology used to treat lung disease

24.01.2006


A new technique based on the same technology used to detect chemical warfare agents and explosives is being employed by scientists at The University of Manchester to treat hospital patients with lung disease.



Dr Paul Thomas and a team of researchers are using a sensor, commonly used to detect explosives at airports, to develop a new way of diagnosing lung disease.

The microDMx sensor, developed by Sionex Corporation, is being used to develop a new technique which is able to detect ‘unhealthy’ molecules present in the breath of a patient.


The technology is currently being tested at Wythenshawe Hospital’s North West Lung Research Centre (NWLRC). The aim is to produce a device which will enable doctors to monitor patients with lung or respiratory conditions by simply asking them to breathe into it.

The microDMx sensor is based on a Differential Mobility Spectrometer (DMS) and is a significant advance over the current Ion Mobility Spectrometer (IMS) systems which are currently deployed in airports to detect minute traces of explosives or drugs. The microDMx sensor is able to identify molecules that may be the cause of lung diseases such as cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease caused by smoking.

Dr Paul Thomas from the University’s School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, who is leading the research, said: “Our vision is that one day we will be able to detect a previously undetectable tumour metabolising inside a human lung simply by asking a patient to breathe into a device like this. For now our aim to use the microDMx sensor to develop better instruments which will improve patient care and treatment.

“The potential is such that we will not only be able to provide more accurate diagnosis, but we will also be able to tailor treatments to the individual. For instance, if a patient is taking steroids for asthma, we would be able determine whether they were being given the right amount of steroids from the molecules in their breath which relate to the severity of the inflammation in their lungs.”

NWLRC Consultant Dr Dave Singh, said: "This research could make dramatic improvements to the detection of lung diseases. We are really excited about the future possibilities for diagnosing diseases, and monitoring the response to treatment.”

The microDMx sensor can be used to detect and analyse a broad spectrum of molecules associated with different conditions with extreme sensitivity. It can also be configured to block out molecules produced by common ailments such as sore throats or chesty coughs which may interfere with the accuracy of data.

“What is unique about this sensor, and the use of the microDMx technology, is the fact that it can be configured to not just analyse one disease or condition, but it has the potential to be used to analyse a broad spectrum of conditions from asthma, to cancer and metabolic disorders such as diabetes,” says Dr Thomas.

Dr Thomas’ research will form part of a new National Initiative in Ion Mobility Spectrometry (NIIMS), which aims to explore the use of IMS measurement within the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields. Alongside Professor Colin Creaser from Nottingham Trent University he will lead a consortium of experts and industrial partners, who will be evaluating DMS and IMS potential in areas such as high-speed separations of complex mixtures and structural characterisation of pharmaceuticals and biomolecules.

Pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca have already pledged their support for the NIIMS initiative, along with Micromass UK, committing £530K.

Simon Hunter | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/news

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications

nachricht Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>