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‘Sniff Cam’ Investigated as a Means of Detecting Disease

A report in ACS’ Analytical Chemistry suggests a highly sensitive “sniff cam” may be able to identify and measure volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that indicate disease.

A report in ACS’ Analytical Chemistry suggests a highly sensitive “sniff cam” may be able to identify and measure volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that indicate disease. If the technology is eventually used in clinical practice, various scent compounds emitted by patients may help identify illnesses, including diabetes.

Findings from the study, “Ultrasensitive Sniff-Cam for Biofluorometric-Imaging of Breath Ethanol Caused by Metabolism of Intestinal Flora,” demonstrate the gas imaging system, or sniff cam, detects and measures low amounts of ethanol (EtOH). The sniff cam’s enzyme mesh allows EtOH to react with oxidized nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), producing a fluorescent, reduced form of NAD, which the camera records.

Researchers demonstrated the sniff cam has the sensitivity to measure low concentrations of EtOH in subjects who had not consumed alcohol or food. According to ACS, “these results show the system can visualize a broader range of VOC levels than previous devices, and its versatility may aid in the further study of the relationship between scent and disease.”

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