Technology is taking another dimension in this present 21st century. Studies and research are undertaken to invent machines that sniff disease you’re suffering. It’s quite stressful for patients who are prone to having cancer having to undertake random series of medical check up in order to discover the tumour at an early stage.
Think of a machine you have in your house that automatically sniffs out your disease and alerts you before it even starts.
Every single individual has a distinctive scent. This scent is made up of thousands of organic compound. Knowing or recognizing individual smells is something we cannot do except we are close to the person and probably used to the person’s body smell.
Recent medical research verifies that the smell of an individual’s skin can suggest the person’s illness. Just as the breath of someone and the bodily fluids also help decode a certain type of illness. Prehistoric medical practitioners also use a patient’s scent to make diagnoses.
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Medically, it has been proven that most times the breath of a diabetic patient smells like rotten apple, likewise the skin of a patient diagnosed with typhoid smells like baking bread. It has also been proven that dogs are very skillful in sniffing out diseases, and it’s been confirmed that dogs are capable of sniffing out a certain type of cancer.
Invented Machines That Sniff Disease
With these few basic study, researchers are at work to invent a less expensive odor sensor for rapid and trustworthy diagnoses. British firm Owlstone are investigating sensors that are sensitive to the scent of certain basic disease.
Lately, projects are carried out to make this invention a success. To this effect, Owlstone raised around $23.5 million to put an odour analysis technology in clinics. Also Britain’s National Health Service is funding a 3,000 project to test Owlstone’s sensor to diagnose lung cancer.
Also the company is conducting a 1,400 subject trail on colorectal cancer.
In the United States too, a group of researchers from the Chemical Senses Center received an $815,000 grant in February from Kleberg Fooundation to improve the work done on a prototype odour sensor that identifies Ovarian cancer in blood samples.
Another team in Japan and Austria are also inventing odour sensors to diagnose diseases.
How this technology operates is that the molecules in an odour sample will be recognized, then an electric current will be used to move the chemicals of diagnostic interest through the channels that were engraved in the chip, where it can easily be noticed.
Relating to this invention, an Israeli Chemical Engineer, Hossam Haick is developing a diagnostic technology. He was pushed into this invention when his college roommate had leukemia. He then realized early diagnosis is as important as the treatment itself.
The sniffing machine he made uses an array of sensors made of gold nanoparticles. They are covered with molecular receptors that have attraction for some biomarkers of disease discovered in breathing. As soon as these biomarkers stick to the ligands, the nanoparticles shrink. This loss in conductivity is interpreted into a diagnosis.
Mr Haick explained that they send all the signals to a computer, and it translates the odour into a sign that links it to the disease it was exposed to. With the influence of artificial intelligence, these technologies would be better at diagnosing.
All efforts are being made on this technology and the competition is passionate. This positive effort is geared towards the purpose of saving lives.