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Council for Scientific and Industrial Research South Africa |

Pretoria

Keywords related to the available technology.
Breath analyser Blood glucose Non-invasive Diabetic Acetone
2
Overview: 

This device is aimed at the early detection and monitoring of certain diseases in humans and animals. It analyses the subject's breath upon exhalation (or any gas mixture for that matter). There is a complex nano-VO2 sensor chip in the chamber, the gas source passes through and out via an exhaust. The speed of analysis is pretty remarkable, as the gas will be analysed before it exits the exhaust. In this case, the technology is aimed at the diabetic community, where a measure of the acetone content of their breath is converted to a measure of their blood glucose level. Therefore, this technology represents a non-invasive way for diabetics to monitor their glucose levels as they no longer need to prick their fingers or draw blood.

Relevant intellectual property protection in place for this technology.
Registerable IP
What is the technology owner looking for? E.g. collaboration, investment, sales, etc.
Investment
Brief description of the technology’s market need.

Current diabetes monitoring instruments are invasive. This technology monitors blood glucose levels by analysing acetone saturation of individuals' breath instead of a blood sample, making it ideal for the diabetic community to monitor this key indicator. Acetone content of an individual's breath can be used to indicate the blood glucose level. Relative to the 330 molecules of glucose in a sample of blood, only 1 molecule of acetone manages to travel to the lungs and be exhaled. Diabetic people emit more acetone than healthy individuals, due to the proportionate increase in blood glucose. The acetone content of their breath can thus be used to calculate the amount of concentration of glucose in their blood. The present technology determines the blood glucose without the need to for the patient to prick their finger or have blood drawn. There currently are no breath analysers on the market for diabetes. For our competitors, the greatest challenge is to design a similar selective sensor which can detect acetone with high acuity. We have designed a novel nano-VO2 sensor chip and a new transistor design which accurately selects and detects the acetone quantitatively. This measure is then calibrated and converted to provide an accurate blood glucose measurement.

Brief description of the technology’s benefits.

The differentiator of our product is the new transistor design, which accurately selects and detects acetone quantitatively in the breath. This is then calibrated and converted to give an accurate blood glucose measurement without the need for pricking skin or drawing blood from a patient.

The attributes of the technology that makes it unique.

There are currently no breath analysers on the market for diabetes. Acetone content in the breath is a reliable indicator of blood glucose levels and thus presents an opportunity for a non-invasive indicative test. In terms of the novelty of the technology, the analyser contains a new unique transistor design and a complex nano-VO2 sensor chip in the chamber, which has been tested and proven accurate repeatedly.

The main idea behind the technology is described.

To design a tool that allows for non-invasive measurement of key health indicators using human breath as the sample material. In this case, we have tailored the technology to measuring blood glucose levels using acetone content in the breath, but the sensor can be adapted to quantify for other health indicators.

The technology was developed by an organisation in the following sector(s).
Public research organisation
The technology area relevant to the technology.
Health and Manufacturing
The Technology Readiness Level of the available technology. For more information on the Technology Readiness Levels, please follow the link: Technology Readiness Levels
TRL 7: Validation of technology in the real-world
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