Researchers at the Chongqing University in China announce that they have been working on a sensor able to detect volatile organic compounds in a person's breath that point to the existence of lung cancer. According to the team, the device has so far shown promise in laboratory tests, detecting related compounds with a nearly 100% accuracy.
The device works thanks to a fluorescent cross-responsive sensor array over which a special rotary gas chamber spreads the gas evenly. Dots on the outside of the sensor ring change color depending on the substance they come in contact with.
AdvertisementBy detecting how the fluorescence of the array varies due to the introduction of a gas, the device is able to spot the existence of specific biomarkers. In their research, the scientists were able to spot cancer-related volatile organic compounds p-xylene, styrene, isoprene, and hexanal at concentrations of up to 50 parts per billion.
Scientists said that the next step is to put the sensor through clinical trials to verify that it works with an actual patient's breath.