Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sensor Warns Patients in Advance of Asthma Attack

24.01.2011
By analyzing patients’ breath, a new Siemens sensor can tell hours in advance if someone will get an asthma attack. The gas sensor registers if an asthma sufferer’s air passages are about to become inflamed, enabling the patient to take anti-inflammatory medication in time to prevent an attack.

The sensor measures amounts as small as one ppb (part per billion), making it as sensitive as larger devices that are far more expensive and not portable. One ppb corresponds approximately to the dilution of a cube of sugar in a 50 meter-long swimming pool. The new sensor is contained in a prototype device that will be portable and only a little larger than a cell phone.


In patients suffering from asthma, the latent inflammation of the bronchial tubes generally spreads long before the patients actually feel anything. If the inflammation is intense, the air passages constrict and the patient has an asthma attack. The attacks can be so serious that the patient has to be treated in hospital, which is why many asthma sufferers regularly take anti-inflammatory medication. Previously, the only way to detect impending asthma attacks in advance was to conduct expensive pulmonary examinations to determine if the patient’s breath contained heightened levels of nitrogen monoxide (NO), which signal such an attack. By contrast, the new sensor from Siemens Corporate Technology will enable patients to analyze the NO in their breath themselves. As a result, they will be able to take the minimum amount of preventive medication and increase the dose only if really necessary.

The new sensor can detect increases in NO one day before an acute asthma attack occurs. Over the past few years, medical researchers and health insurance companies have recognized that NO levels are an effective indication of an impending asthma attack. In the analysis of a patient’s breath, the system first converts nitrogen monoxide into nitrogen dioxide, after which the air flows across the actual sensor. Only the particles signaling the attack adhere to the sensor’s surface. This generates a voltage that is measured by a field-effect transistor. The intensity of the voltage is directly dependent on the amount of nitrogen monoxide in the patient’s breath. On the basis of this value, the patient can decide what dose of anti-inflammatory medication he or she should take.

Another type of breath sensor under consideration would allow athletes to check whether they are exercising enough to burn fat. The detection principle is the same, except that the system measures the level of acetone. The latter is generated in the body when fat is burned and is also detectable in a person’s breath.

Dr. Norbert Aschenbrenner | Siemens InnovationNews
Further information:
http://www.siemens.com/innovationnews

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter
20.08.2018 | Rice University

nachricht Metamolds: Molding a mold
20.08.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Air pollution leads to cardiovascular diseases

21.08.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Researchers target protein that protects bacteria's DNA 'recipes'

21.08.2018 | Life Sciences

A paper battery powered by bacteria

21.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>