Diagnosing diabetes has always been an invasive procedure, but thanks to researchers, a portable breathalyzer has been developed to diagnose diabetes noninvasively in the office — and even monitor blood glucose levels.
Researcher Robert Peverall and team at the Department of Chemistry, Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford, created a hand-held device with an adsorbent material that can capture acetone from exhaled breath (a marker for diabetes), then pass it on to an area where a laser probes its concentration.
Detecting the concentrations of these or any substances in breath in a simple way, however, remained a major challenge. Breath contains a complex mix of compounds, including water, carbon dioxide and methane that can throw results off.
Peverall and associates set out to overcome these difficulties and isolate and accurately test for diabetes. Once their device was created, they tested it on the breath of healthy subjects under different conditions, such as fasting or exercising, and compared results with mass spectrometry readings (the benchmark device for such testing).
The measurements were a close match and covered a wide range of concentrations, including those that would suggest a patient has undiagnosed Type-1 diabetes, or has problems controlling their blood glucose. Added bonus: The researchers say it could be reused many times.
The next step is to ascertain if their breathalyzer can be made into a commercially viable product.
Their report appears in the journal Analytical Chemistry.
© 2021 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.