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UoH Develops Ultra-Sensitive Acetone Detection Biomarker to Help Detect Diseases Better

Written by : Jayati Dubey

August 9, 2023

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The University of Hyderabad's innovation is positioned to excel in detecting low levels of acetone biomarkers, a vital diagnostic instrument for several ailments such as diabetes, asthma, and lung cancer.

The University of Hyderabad (UoH) has unveiled a high "Q" Helmholtz Photoacoustic (PA) cell sensor featuring a movable piston arrangement. This innovation stands poised for the low-level detection of acetone biomarkers, a crucial diagnostic tool for various diseases such as diabetes, asthma, and lung cancer.

The research team from the School of Physic's Advanced Centre of Research in High Energy Material (ACRHEM) at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) has developed the diagnostic tool.

Crafted from aluminum, the Helmholtz PA cell exemplifies an exceptional feat of engineering. The ability to detect acetone at remarkably low levels, reaching parts per trillion (PPT), sets this invention apart.

Such unparalleled sensitivity bodes well for non-invasive medical diagnostics, potentially transforming the landscape of disease detection. Furthermore, the sensor's applications include detecting trace explosives, atmospheric pollutants, volatile solvents, and more.

The innovation has garnered the attention of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ministry of Defence as it undergoes final stages of patent consideration. The Helmholtz PA cell's conception finds roots in the photoacoustic technique, an absorption method conceived by Alexander Graham Bell in 1880. This technique can potentially detect gaseous pollutants in low concentrations and biomedical imaging.

Operational principles hinge on detecting acoustic signals emitted by gaseous molecules within a specially designed Photoacoustic (PA) cell. As a resonance cavity, the PA cell magnifies faint acoustic or pressure waves. The current PA sensor presents notable advantages over existing photonics techniques, as it employs cost-effective acoustic microphones instead of pricier photonics detectors.

The impact of this research resonates through its recent publication in the esteemed journal "Spectrochimica Acta A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy 2023-07-28," as indicated by an official release.

In healthcare technology, India is making remarkable strides in biomarker detection, with significant advancements driven by various institutions and companies. Renowned universities such as IIT Delhi, the University of Hyderabad, and AIIMS have emerged as key players in this journey, leveraging their expertise to push the boundaries of medical diagnostics. Additionally, leading companies including Tata Consultancy Services and Biocon are actively contributing to these advancements. This collaborative effort between academia and industry showcases India's unwavering dedication to embracing cutting-edge technologies.


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