Engineering Minute

Engineering Minute – Diagnosing Gastric Cancer Using a Patient’s Breath

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Researchers at VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, in collaboration with nine other project partners, have developed a cancer screening device that can provide an early diagnosis of gastic cancer from a patient's breath. The device, dubbed SniffPhone,  uses highly sensitive nanotechnology-based chemical sensors to measure the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in a patient's exhaled breath. The data collected is transferred via Bluetooth to a smartphone where it is updated to a cloud platform to be analyzed by a qualified medical professional. Being both painless and easy to use, the SniffPhone provides a cost-effective alternative to traditional gastric cancer screenings. The device is currently in the prototype phase with plans to commercialize in the future. 

 

SniffPhone, currently in its prototype phase, enables early diagnosis of gastric cancer from a person's exhaled breath.
SniffPhone, currently in its prototype phase, enables early diagnosis of gastric cancer from a person's exhaled breath.
Credit: VTT Technical Research Center of Finland

From the VTT article: "VTT's role in the project was the implementation of the platform for transferring data from the smartphone to a cloud-based storage space. VTT has also been building analysis tools and methods for recognising high-risk patients. In addition, VTT developed a mobile application that guides the user in giving a breath sample and provides the user with a preliminary analysis of the sample. Furthermore, a physician's analysis tool has been developed to display the analysis results of breath samples. VTT was also in charge of the implementation of responsible research and innovation in the project by such methods as engaging final users and stakeholders in the development work through interviews and workshops and integrating responsible design practices into project operations.

The SniffPhone project is part of the EU's Horizon 2020 Funding Programme. The project consortium consists of nine partners: the coordinator Technion - Israel Institute of Technology (Israel), NanoVation (Israel), Cellix Ltd (Ireland), microfluidic ChipShop (Germany), University of Latvia (Latvia), University of Innsbruck (Austria), Siemens (Germany), JLM Innovation GmbH (Germany) and VTT."

 

 

Read more about the gastric cancer screening device that uses a patient's breath at VTT Technical Research Center of Finland