Nanopar­ti­cles sniff at dis­ease sub­stances in our breath

Science Illustrated - - HUMANS -

Physi­cian Hos­sam Haick has de­vel­oped a new elec­tronic nose that can di­ag­nose dis­eases based on the spe­cific make-up of sub­stances they emit in a per­son’s breath. The “nose” de­tects the same volatile or­ganic com­pounds as our own nose, only it is much more sen­si­tive. The per­son’s breath is sent past a layer of nanopar­ti­cles, which are elec­tri­cally con­duc­tive. The nanopar­ti­cles are sur­rounded by an or­ganic ma­te­rial that de­tects the smelling gases, and when the ma­te­rial in­ter­acts with the gases, the elec­tri­cal re­sis­tance changes. Each sub­stance gives off a dif­fer­ent elec­tric sig­nal, which is an­a­lysed by a com­puter, and by com­par­ing the sig­nal to a data­base of the spe­cial “scent marks” of dis­eases, the di­ag­no­sis is made.

THE SEN­SOR CON­SISTS OF NANOPAR­TI­CLES, THAT CON­VERT PHEROMONES INTO AN ELEC­TRIC SIG­NAL.

Physi­cian Hos­sam Haick breathes on an elec­tronic nose sen­sor, which trans­mits data to a com­puter.

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