Patients with diabetes may be familiar with the "fruity breath" phenomenon, an odor resulting from a build-up of acetone that indicates a deficiency in blood glucose. Researchers are hoping to target acetone breath as a means of non-invasively detecting and monitoring diabetes.
University of Pittsburgh scientists say that their "diabetes breathalyzer" technology could be a cheaper, less invasive way of keeping track of diabetes through breath alone.
"Once patients are diagnosed with diabetes, they have to monitor their condition for the rest of their lives," principal investigator Alexander Star said in prepared remarks. "Current monitoring devices are mostly based on blood glucose analysis, so the development of alternative devices that are noninvasive, inexpensive, and provide easy-to-use breath analysis could completely change the paradigm of self-monitoring diabetes."
The team hopes to build a prototype and begin testing on human breath samples soon, according to a University press release. So far, the sensor has performed admirably, researchers said.
"Our measurements have excellent detection capabilities," according to Star. "If such a sensor could be developed and commercialized, it could transform the way patients with diabetes monitor their glucose levels."