A ''NaNose'' device which can diagnose 17 diseases, including cancer and Parkinson's, based on 'smelling' a patient's breath paves the way for quick, non invasive and affordable early detection according to its Israeli developers. Stuart McDill reports.
The future of early diagnoses of disease could be this simple, according to a team of researchers in Israel The 'NaNose' as they call it can differentiate between 17 types of diseases with a single sniff - identifying so-called smelly compounds in anything from cancers to Parkinson's. PROFESSOR HOSSAM HAICK / INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY-TECHNION "Indeed, what we have found in our most recent research in this regard, that 17 types of disease have 13 common compounds that are found in all different types of disease, but the mixture of the compounds and the composition of these compounds changes from one disease to another disease. And this is what is really unique and what really we expect to see and utilize in order to make the diagnosis from exhaled breath." The NaNose uses "artificially intelligent nanoarray" sensors to analyze the data obtained from receptors that "smell" the patient's breath. DOCTOR YOAV BROZA, INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY-TECHNION "So our main idea is to try an imitate what's going on in nature. So like we can take a canine, a dog and train it to scent the smell of drugs, of explosives or a missing person, we are trying to do it artificially. And we can do that by using these nano-materials and we build these nano material-based sensors. And of course there are many advantages and one of them of course is going all the way from sensors big as this to really small devices like this that have that have on them eight sensors and which can be incorporated to systems like this, or even smaller." Several companies are now trying to commercialize the technology - and encourage its use in healthcare systems... ...or see it incorporated into your smartphone