Breathalyzer Test for Diabetes In the Offing?

| Apr 10, 2007

It’s well known that people with uncontrolled diabetes sometimes suffer from ketoacidosis, in which their breath gives off the strong odor of nail polish remover. Well, nail polish remover is made of acetone.

Now researchers at Mississippi State University have developed a breath test for diabetes based upon the increased amount of acetone in the breath of people with diabetes.

The test involves putting acetone-laden water vapor (like exhaled breath) into a small mirrored chamber and then shining an infrared laser into the chamber.  By measuring the time it takes the light to disappear as it is reflected back and forth between the mirrors, the researchers can detect acetone in extremely low concentrations. 

The presence of acetone in the lungs rises as blood glucose levels become higher. If the test could be refined to the point of actually revealing blood sugar levels, it could eventually lead to a non-invasive method of testing blood glucose. 

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Source: Mississippi State University; Times of India

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