Exhaled biomarkers can reveal lung disease

Monday, July 20, 2020 - 10:11 in Biology & Nature

Using specialized nanoparticles, MIT engineers have developed a way to monitor pneumonia or other lung diseases by analyzing the breath exhaled by the patient. In a study of mice, the researchers showed that they could use this system to monitor bacterial pneumonia, as well as a genetic disorder of the lungs called alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. “We envision that this technology would allow you to inhale a sensor and then breathe out a volatile gas in about 10 minutes that reports on the status of your lungs and whether the medicines you are taking are working,” says Sangeeta Bhatia, the John and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Health Sciences and Technology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. More safety testing would be needed before this approach could be used in humans, but in the mouse study, no signs of toxicity in the lungs were observed. Bhatia, who is also a member of MIT’s Koch...

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