Human Practice

Medical applications of the Sniffer-O-Meter!

Talk with Dr. Lutter about the applicability of our research within the medical field

To get a better overview of what the medical field would think of our research, we talked to Dr. Rene Lutter (is doing research at the Academic Medical Center (AMC), University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands into the functioning of granuloma in tuberculosis amongst others by analyzing breath-condensate).

After we explained our project to this doctor he became very enthusiastic about the many possibilities one can do with it. Of course plenty more research is needed before one can actually use this in the medical field, but the beginning of our project will probably lead up to a new detection method in the medical field in the future. He gave a couple of examples that would be improved with this new detection method, those are listed below.

Intensive care

There are people coming to the intensive care with an unknown infection which can be deadly if not treated on time. Now a days doctors first need a sample of the infection, let the bacteria grow and identify it, and treat the patient with the right medicine. This whole process cost a lot of time, which some patients do not have unfortunately. If we would have a broad platform of detection many different gaseous compounds, the diagnosing of the unknown infections would be a lot faster and more people would cured.

Resistant TB

There are several types of resistant TB, which means that the medicine will not cure the TB from the patient. A patient gets resistant TB either from taking their medication wrong or directly from another resistant TB patient. Diagnosing if a patient has resistant TB takes approximately 2 months. With the upcoming technology one would be able to detect different compounds of a resistant TB, and one would find out quickly if someone is suffering from a resistant TB and would get the appropriate treatment faster.

HIV and TB

People who are infected with HIV have a disoriented immune system. This will give the opportunity for other infections to easily enter the human body. TB bacteria become active if the immune system cannot stop this from growing. So the combination of those two diseases is in many cases deadly if not diagnosed and treated.

Fact: From the 8.8 million people who got TB in 2010, there were 1.1 million also HIV-positive.82% of those people live in the Sub-Saharan Africa. From all the aids patients who die, half of them die from TB. Source: Medecins sans Frontieres

Diagnosing TB by patients with saliva-test or even by x-ray photos who are seropositive is not always giving the correct diagnosis. So in order to treat these patients a better and faster diagnose of TB is necessary. So by being able to detect compounds of TB, no matter the patient’s own condition, a proper diagnose can be made and more people would be treated in much earlier state.

To conclude, our research has many possibilities within the medical field. So hopefully in the near future this wills safe many people. And we would like to thank Dr. Rene Lutter for his input in our project!