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Breath analyzer eases glucose monitoring

For many diabetics, painful finger sticks and costly test strips are the only way to monitor their blood sugar levels. But a breath sensor developed by researchers at the State University of New York at Binghamton may offer an alternative approach to glucose monitoring.

The non-invasive sensor provides convenient, real-time information about blood glucose levels by detecting chemicals related to diabetes in human breath. Acetone vapors found in breath are correlated with blood glucose levels, making them a reliable marker for diabetes; however, these compounds are difficult to separate from other gases. An individual's diet, exercise and fitness levels cause variation in both the composition and amount of gases exhaled.

To overcome this challenge, the researchers used flexible, nanoparticle-based chemical sensors in the breath device to provide the accuracy required to differentiate important biomarkers from other normal gases such as carbon dioxide. This technology may prove useful in the diagnosis and management of a number of other diseases including lung cancer, liver deficiencies and a number of respiratory diseases.

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  • a chemical sensor can estimate glucose levels in the breath of those with diabetes
A chemical sensor analyzes blood glucose levels in those with diabetes.
Chuan-Jian Zhong, SUNY Binghamton

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