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Published 27 March 2014

Breath Analyzer for Medical Applications

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Toshiba Corporation announced that it has developed a prototype of a compact breath analyzer that can detect a wide range of trace gases in exhaled breath. A breath exhaled into the equipment is irradiated with an infrared laser, and trace gases detected across the absorption spectrum.

Exhalations of breath carry trace amounts of gases that can be used in diagnostics. For instance, the presence of acetone may indicate diabetes, while methane provides clues as to the condition of the intestinal environment.

The analyzer has the potential to provide analysis that can be applied to health monitoring and diagnosis of disease.

The current version of the equipment can detect acetaldehyde and methane in addition to acetone. Toshiba will extend this to other gases, including isotopes of carbon dioxide, toward starting production to order in 2015.

Constituents that can be measured by a breath analyzer

Acetaldehyde Intermediate of alcohol metabolism. The cause of hangovers.
Acetone Intermediate of fatty acid metabolism. An indicator of obesity and diabetes.
Carbon monoxide Intermediate of heme catabolism. An indicator of smoking

Constituents that will be measured by a breath analyzer in the future

Methane Discharge from metabolism of intestinal bacterium. An indicator of the intestinal environment.
Nitric monoxide Generated by airway inflammation. An indicator of asthma.
13C carbon dioxide Generated by 13C-labeled drug metabolism. Used for helicobacter pylori testing.
See on the web : Toshiba Develops Breath Analyzer for Medical Applications