Thursday, August 12, 2010

Electronic Nose Detects Cancer in Patient's Breath

Future annual medical checkups could include a breathalyzer test for cancer, courtesy of Technion in Israel. Look for nanotechnology to unlease all sorts of similar point-of-service medical diagnosis tests over the rest of the decade. RColinJohnson @NextGenLog

Researcher Hossam Haick led the Technion team in designing gold-nanoparticle sensors whose electrical conductivity changes when exposed to cancer markers in a patient's breath.

An electronic nose may soon be able to detect cancer using a nanosensor array designed at the Israel Institute of Technology, according to researchers. The breathalyzer-like device used gold nanoparticles arrayed on a silicon substrate to identify not only the presence of cancer, but the specific kind detected. The nanosensor array was fabricated from inter-digitated gold electrodes which were arranged in a circular pattern and deposited by an electron-beam onto silicon wafers capped with a thermal oxide. The millimeter-sized device separated its electrodes by just by 20 microns—each coated with nanoparticles created with "guest" receptors designed to attract a different type of cancer-marker molecule in breath. The assembly was them mounted on a printed circuit board inside the breathalyzer-like device.
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