Bioanalysis Zone

Prototype published for portable breath acetone analyzer


Device has implications for monitoring fat loss and improving sugar level control in diabetics.

In a recent paper published in Journal of Breath Research, Tsuguyoshi Toyooka and colleagues (NTT DOCOMO Inc., Japan) introduce a prototype for a portable acetone breath analyzer. It is suggested that this ‘cigarette-packet-sized’ device could have implications in monitoring fat loss; since acetone is a by-product of fat metabolism.

The device contains two types of semiconductor-based gas sensors. These sensors have differing sensitivity characteristics; which enables the calculation of acetone levels, whilst also considering the presence of other compounds such as ethanol and hydrogen. One sensor is based on platinum-doped tungsten oxide; for the detection of acetone, and the other is based on tin oxide; to account for any interfering compounds.

The team tested the accuracy of their device compared to conventional gas chromatography techniques, demonstrating a “strong correlation throughout the experiments”. In addition, they demonstrated an association between controlled caloric intake and increased exercise, to increased breath acetone levels.

The researchers conclude that their prototype has implications for “self-monitoring of fat-burning at home or outside”. In addition to its potential implications for adjusting diet programs to individuals; it is thought that the device could aid in the control of sugar levels for diabetics.

Source: Toyooka T, Hiyama S and Yamada Y. A prototype portable breath acetone analyzer for monitoring fat loss. J. Breath Res. 7(3) 036005 (2013) (Epub ahead of print).



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