Lung cancer breathalyzer test

Nano technology makes detecting lung cancer easy and affordable

BreathalyzerCourtesy mrjorgen
The breath of people who have lung cancer is different than those who don't. For years scientists have been perfecting techniques that determines what exactly is different.

Expensive and complicated tools like gas chromatographs and mass spectrometers were used to identify and measure 42 volatile organic compounds that represent lung cancer biomarkers. Sensors were designed to react to four of these compounds.

Gang Peng of the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa and colleagues have now developed what they say is an inexpensive, portable sensor technology that can quickly distinguish between the breath of lung cancer patients and healthy people. New York Times

How lung cancer detectors work

Tiny gold nano size beads were coated with organic compounds that would react with the four lung cancer biomarkers. The particles were deposited as a thin film between two electrodes. The breath of someone with lung cancer reacts with the chemicals in the gold beads, changing their electrical resistance.

Learn more

Physics World has a more complete explanation of how gold nano beads sense lung cancer.

The abstract of the research paper titled "Diagnosing lung cancer in exhaled breath using gold nanoparticles can be found in Nature Nanotechnology.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Kasey's picture
Kasey says:

this article is very useful to someone who dont understand lung cancer and to someone who is experiencing lung cancer or has a family memeber with lung cancer

posted on Wed, 09/16/2009 - 1:56pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

how does all of this work? can we do this with other cancers but in different ways?

posted on Sat, 09/19/2009 - 2:12pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

I just put up another cancer that might soon be detectable via blood, urine, or saliva testing.
As to how it works, small bits of material, usually microRNA, known as biomarkers serve to indicate when an individual has a cancer.

posted on Sun, 09/20/2009 - 9:03pm

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