Researchers of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have recently published an article about the development of a device that uses nanotechnology for the detection of diabetes.
According to Dr. Kim Il-Doo , lead author of the development, is a breath test to detect diabetes that could easily be adapted to a mobile phone or a tablet, by which acetone is detected in the patient's breath.
Acetone is one of the volatile organic compounds that warn of the presence of certain diseases: volatile organic compounds serve as "biomarkers" to detect certain pathologies, such as acetone for diabetes, toluene for lung cancer , or ammonium for kidney failure.
It should be remembered that ketone breath or acetone is produced by the formation of ketones and comes from the air in the lungs, where these bodies are removed when blood sugar levels are abnormally elevated (hyperglycemia).
A person with diabetes exhales an acetone level greater than 1.8 parts per million (a healthy person would exhale between two and six times less), so the supposed sensor should detect acetone levels below one part per million, plus to be able to discriminate other exhaled gases as well as the humidity of the breath.
Like some other similar developments, the presence of these markers will allow them to have a greater knowledge and control of the disease both to the specialist and to the patients themselves.
Breath analysis is a very efficient method for the detection of diabetes and medical diagnosis, because it is not invasive, it is fast and economical, and it does not generate polluting waste.
In addition, these breath sensors employ various catalysts and semiconductor metal fibers, adapted to the specific disease to be diagnosed, so it goes beyond just diabetes.