Electronic Nose to Smell Tuberculosis from Breath VOCs
Ranjan Nanda and Virander Chauhan of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology in India will gather breath samples from tuberculosis patients and use gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to identify and track unique molecules such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that might serve as biomarkers to diagnose tuberculosis. The overall goal is to then create a handheld "electronic nose" to diagnose the disease in resource-poor settings. The project's Phase I research demonstrated that although no single VOC could be used as a biomarker to diagnose TB, there are key molecules in breath that do vary based on TB exposure and disease's level of activity. In Phase II, Nanda will refine the biomarker signature to diagnose TB and test the ability of the portable "electronic nose" diagnostic tool equipped with a sensor array to specifically detect these key molecules in TB patients in India.