Monday, December 1, 2008

Carbon Nanotubes Detect Lung Cancer Markers in the Breath

November 2008

Using an array of nanotube devices, each coated with a different organic material, researchers at the Israel Institute of Technology have developed diagnostic system that may be able to diagnose lung cancer simply by sampling a patient’s breath. The results of this study, which was led by Hossam Haick, Ph.D., appear in the journal Nano Letters.

Dr. Haick and his collaborators first created individual devices consisting of random networks of single-walled carbon nanotubes coated with 1 of 10 different insulating nonpolymeric organic materials. The investigators used standard microprocessor fabrication techniques to create the sensors. Thanks to the different organic materials used to coat the nanotubes, each sensing device provided a unique response when exposed to wide variety of the more than 200 volatile organic chemicals present in human breath.

To calibrate the devices, the investigators captured the breath of 15 nonsmoking healthy patients and 15 individuals with stage 4 lung cancer. Next, they concentrated the organic compounds in each breath sample using a method known as solid phase microextraction and then analyzed each sample using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). GC-MS is a highly accurate technique that is too expensive and time consuming to find use as a routine diagnostic assay. The researchers then ran the same samples through their sensor array; the electrical output of the test devices changed in a way that was characteristic of the exact mixture of organic compounds found in the breath samples.

From these data, the investigators were able to distinguish between two response patterns from each of the 10 array members. There was no overlap in the response patterns between the healthy and lung cancer patients in these first tests. The researchers are now testing their system on a much larger group of patients and healthy subjects.

This work is detailed in the paper “Detecting simulated patterns of lung cancer biomarkers by random network of single-walled carbon nanotubes coated with nonpolymeric organic materials.” An abstract of this paper is available at the journal’s Web site.

I checked 2 of APNT's patent filings - CLOSE!:

1) United States Patent Application 20070167832
Kind Code A1
Yaniv; Zvi ; et al. July 19, 2007
Analysis of Gases


Systems and techniques for the analysis of gases for medical purposes are described. In one aspect, a system includes a sample collector to collect a physical sample associated with an individual and present a gas sample for analysis, a gas analysis device to analyze the gas sample presented by the sample collector to determine a concentration of one or more non-aqueous gases in the gas sample, a data storage device that includes information reflecting a correlation between concentration of the one or more non-aqueous gases in the gas sample and a disease state, and a data analysis device to determine a medical condition of the individual based on the concentration of one or more non-aqueous gases in the gas sample and the information.

Inventors: Yaniv; Zvi; (Austin, TX) ; Soundarrajan; Prabhu; (Austin, TX)

2) United States Patent Application 20050244811
Kind Code A1
Soundarrajan, Prabhu ; et al. November 3, 2005
Matrix array nanobiosensor


An apparatus for detecting multiple analytes comprising an array of nanobiosensors, each comprising a biological entity immobilized onto carbon nanotubes, wherein a plurality of the nanobiosensors in the array have unique biological entities, wherein a first one of the plurality of nanobiosensors has a first biological entity immobilized onto carbon nanotubes, and wherein a second one of the plurality of nanobiosensors has a second biological entity immobilized onto carbon nanotubes, the first biological entity is unique relative to the second biological entity.

Inventors: Soundarrajan, Prabhu; (Austin, TX) ; Ginsberg, Valerie; (Austin, TX) ; Yaniv, Zvi; (Austin, TX)