Single Breath Diagnostic Test to Reveal Disease-Related Biomarkers
Support from the
National Science Foundation (NSF) has helped Professor Perena Gouma engineer a Single Breath Disease Diagnostic Test breathalyser, which is currently being tested in clinical trials. By blowing into the breathalyser, your breath can be tested for the presence of disease-related biomarkers.
This breathalyser is made from ceramic technology. The sensor chip in the breathalyser is built of nanowires that that are designed to sense Nano-sized quantities of certain chemicals released in a sample of breath delivered to this detector. This is an exciting new field of research in nanotechnology which could diversify the application of this diagnostic test. Each nanowire in the sensor chip is can be different and made up of varying configurations of metal and oxygen atoms so that they are sensitive to detecting a particular chemical compound to help indicate an underlying disease.
One of the objectives for the single breath disease diagnostic test is to engineer the device to allow for users to self detect for diseases by simple exhaling into a valve attached to a box containing the sensor. The principle to the single breath diagnostic test is to breath into this valve, which is followed by a green light (to indicate no underlying disease [i.e., no disease-related compound has been detected]), or a red light (to indicate that further tests may be required to clarify the nature of the compounds possibly detected by the diagnostic test). The idea that individuals can use this Single Breath Disease Diagnostic Test breathalyser is an encouraging message for users to take control of their own health.