New Breath Monitor May Detect Flu

Research funded by the National Science Foundation through the Smart Connected Health program led to the invention of a new hand-held device that could detect the flu virus. Information about the device, which works similar to breathalyzers used to detect blood alcohol content (BAC) and carbon monoxide detectors, was recently published in the journal Sensors.

When a person exhales into the device, semiconductor sensors detect biomarkers associated with flu viruses. According to researchers, widespread availability of the device in the future could lead to earlier flu diagnoses—helping to reduce transmission and prevent influenza outbreaks.

In people with certain medical conditions, increased levels of known biomarkers are present in the breath. For example, people with asthma have higher levels of nitric oxide in their breath, and those with diabetes and other metabolic diseases have higher levels of acetone. Sensors in this new device can detect nitric oxide and ammonia—which may indicate the presence of flu virus.

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Sourced from: ScienceDaily