Breath Diagnostics

Sophisticated sensors based on nanotechnology are poised to revolutionize healthcare by providing accurate, non-invasive methods of detecting disease and other conditions. We’ve covered products that are designed to detect fat-burning and gastric ulcers, and now comes news of a project to detect lung cancer.

Researchers at the University of Louisville’s Graham Brown Cancer Center have developed a microchip that can detect biomarkers in the breath for lung cancer. Prior research has identified four specific chemical compounds that are present in patients with the disease. The scientists collected samples from 88 healthy patients and 107 patients with lung cancer. They also included 40 subjects with benign lung conditions. Their tests showed a high correlation between the breath analysis and CT scans for identifying early stage lung cancer, but the breath analysis was more accurate at distinguishing between cancer and benign conditions. This could help patients avoid unnecessary biopsy procedures.

The researchers have launched Breath Diagnostics, Inc. to bring this new technology to market. The company was named as one of the finalists in the 2016 SXSW Accelerator contest in the Health and Wearable Technologies category. This product is another data point showing how rapidly the field is moving toward non-invasive analysis of biomarkers in the breath for the early detection of disease.