Artificial dog nose sniffs out cancer

Israel (Haifa)

As man’s best friend can be trained to smell the distinct odour of cancerous cells, an Israeli scientific superstar has replicated the dog nose in his quest for faster therapeutic intervention through nanotechnology.

Prof Haick’s highly sensitive breath test uses gold nanoparticles to imitate the canine olfactory system. But it’s more accurate than our furry friends, as the NA-NOSE  (Nanoscale Artificial NOSE) seeks out the smallest traces of deadly breath compounds and indicates how advanced the disease is.

Now emerging from the lab to become commercially available in hospitals and clinics, it is also being customised to spot diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s. Early detection can save lives, so he hopes all local physicians in the developing world will have smaller, cheaper versions of the device eventually.

Written by

Lisa Goldapple, Editor, Atlas of the Future (27 August 2015)

Project leader

Prof Hossam Haick, Technion

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Professor Hossam Haick. Photo courtesy the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

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