Electronic Nose Based Sensing
Electronic nose (e-nose) technologies have been developed for a wide range of military and civilian applications, but in our opinion, current e-nose applications have only scratched the surface of the potential impact of chemical sensing technology. Military applications have focused on the early detection of chemical warfare agents and explosives, while commercial applications include detection of food spoilage, stages of wine and beer fermentation, reproducible formulation of fragrances, and the detection and identification of bacterial infections. Our team has worked with a number of the leading e-nose developers on various projects related to exhaled breath sensing. We have developed software that interfaces with e-nose devices such as the HAZMATCAD and VaporLab from Microsensor Systems and Cyranose320 from Cyrano Sciences, so that we can collect, store, and analyze the sampled data.
Exhaled breath has been analyzed for years, most notably in the Breathalyzer, developed in 1954. It is well known that a number of infectious or metabolic diseases liberate specific odors that are characteristic of disease stages. For example, Helicobacter pylori can be detected by a breath test for ammonia, and diabetes produces acetone which can be detected in breath. We believe exhaled breath sensing will provide noninvasive, point-of-care solutions for many medical diagnosis problems. Over the last several years our team has submitted patent applications covering a wide range of potential medical applications based on breath sensing. Propofol (an intravenous anesthetic agent) monitoring, illicit drug detection, environmental tobacco smoke monitoring, and medical condition diagnosis are examples.
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