thumbed nose at

NASA e-nose

NASA's Electric Nose

Could something that is normally used to find leaks of ammonia in shuttles eventually be used to sniff out cancer? The creators of the electronic nose, or e-nose, at the University of Rome think it will. This machine has already identified people with lung tumors simply by sniffing their breath. This device could be useful for areas of the body that are hard to detect cancer. As of now, the only thing we have to rely on to find can cancerous tissue is merely our eyes. Therefore, this device could definitely be successful in detecting cancer and saving lives. For example, it is hard to tell the difference between brain tissue and cancerous tissue. Brain tissue changes shape when the skull is opened, so scans do not really look like what the surgeon sees. This makes it difficult to cut out cancerous tissue without cutting or damaging healthy areas. This product has already diagnosed lung cancer and diabetes in patients who have breathed into it. Some believe the device could be linked to other things such as mapping devices or images of the brain that show cancerous§ionid=3510208. The E Nose has also been tested by Babak Kateb of City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, California and he said he was able to diagnose diabetes and lung cancer precisely. Babak suggested that the E Nose be combined with other mapping and brain imaging devices to help other surgeons perform operations correctly. NASA’s machine is based on sixteen different polymer films. It can also be taught to recognize a compound or combination of compounds. Like an animal or human nose, the E Nose is designed to respond to the overall profile of compounds in a sample. The next step with the E Nose would be to make the sensitivity level much higher. The creators also want to eventually make it possible for people with a higher risk of lung cancer to be able to get checked for lung cancer at normal doctor check-ups. Carrado Di Natale, the electronic expert developing the e-nose, says that recovering patients of lung tumors may one day be able to test themselves for tumors or cancer in the comfort of their own home.


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