Breath test to detect diabetes

Fri, 09 Mar 2007
Researchers in America may have developed a new tool that could make it possible to detect diabetes on the breath of type 1 diabetics . The new non-invasive tool may be an economical and functional way of tracking blood glucose levels on a day-to-day basis.

Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, is currently detected through the drawing of a small amount of blood. The level of glucose can then be tested. A graduate student and his advisor, Armstrong Mbi and Chuji Wang, are behind the invention.

Using an injection of acetone-laden water vapour into a small chamber with mirrors, the team sent an infrared laser beam sensitive to acetone into the chamber. By detecting the amount of time it takes for the light to dissolve, they can perceive the volume of acetone concentrations. According to initial tests, diabetics have higher acetone levels than non-diabetics.

The director of information resources at the American Diabetes Association, Matt Peterson, reportedly commented: "Non-invasive techniques are always better. If the technique could be extended to test daily blood-sugar levels, then it would be "extremely interesting."
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