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Medical Device Breathalyzer Can Diagnose Lung Cancer – Israel

Posted Sep 03 2009 10:02am

One more new device in the making in Israel.  Talk about an almost instant diagnosis here and if put into use, it could give screening a new meaning.  image The article says it also has potential to detect other diseases as well.  In Israel they are also thinking a clinical trial would not be necessary and for the device to go directly to the the hospital for use, others do not agree on this portion without additional testing. 

You certainly don’t want the wrong kind of “bad breath” with this machine by all means and a test of this sort should never make the ranks of any insurance company pre-qualifier as well, which is what we all worry about here, illness being used against you instead of for you when it comes to care.  BD

Gold nanoparticles are being used by researchers in Israel in a new type of breath test to detect lung cancer in patients. Breath particulate analysis isn’t new but the scientists say this is the first time a technique has been used without the need to pre-treat the exhaled breath, delivering a quicker and less expensive diagnosis. Early detection can result in faster treatment and hopefully save lives. Around 25 percent of all cancer-related deaths are lung cancer sufferers, with estimates put at around 1.3 million people dying from the disease each year.

The new device for detecting cancer in breath uses a carbon-based sensor with embedded gold nanoparticles and was developed by Hossam Haick and his team at the Israel Institute of Technology. image

Haick explains that when a patient breathes into the device, particulates in the breath accumulate on the carbon layer, causing the sensor to swell, pushing the gold nanoparticles apart, thus altering the resistance of the film. Each type of particulate has a unique effect on the resistance, which can be measured by having a current flow through the sensor.

"The user gets a figure on the device's display panel that indicates whether the person is healthy or has cancer," says Haick.

"It has the potential, but will need a lot more clinical validation before it becomes accepted," he says. Cass warns about the danger of oversimplifying real-life cancer diagnoses. "The use of 'synthetic' breath is a good way to test some aspects of the device, but the nature of the approach using sensors, arrays and chemometrics requires evaluation in complex (i.e. real patient) samples," he adds.

Haick has reported that this new device has also shown positive results in diagnosing other diseases including renal failure.

Gold nanoparticles used in early detection of lung cancer

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