Researchers develop 'electronic nose' capable of diagnosing lung cancer

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : October 8, 2019, 10:53 | Updated : October 8, 2019, 10:53

[Courtesy of the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI)]

SEOUL -- South Korean researchers have developed an "electronic nose" that can help diagnose lung cancer by simply analyzing the exhalation of test subjects.

Normally, X-ray and CT scans are used to diagnose lung cancer. Sometimes a biopsy of lung tissue or the microscopic review of sputum samples is needed to check.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), a state-funded research body, said in a statement on Tuesday that ETRI researchers and Seoul National University's hospital in Bundang have co-developed a lung cancer cell emission sensor and machine learning algorithm technology.

ETRI said that the new sensor analyzes exhalations like a nose. When exhalation samples are collected and analyzed, ETRI's machine learning algorithm determines whether substances linked to cancer cells were contained.

"The new sensor will be able to secure competitiveness in the medical lung cancer diagnostic device market," ETRI researcher Lee Dae-sik was quoted as saying. The electronic nose sensor is more cost-effective and smaller than conventional diagnostic devices such as an X-ray machine or a CT scanner.

The sensor can be used as an assistive diagnostic device. ETRI will seek to commercialize it after checking if it can detect other cancers.

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