Application of electronic-nose technologies and VOC-biomarkers for the noninvasive early diagnosis of gastrointestinal diseases


Conventional methods utilized for clinical diagnosis of gastrointestinal (GI) diseases have employed invasive medical procedures that cause stress, anxiety and pain to patients. These methods are often expensive, time-consuming, and require sophisticated chemical-analysis instruments and advanced modeling procedures to achieve diagnostic interpretations. This paper reviews recent applications of simpler, electronic-nose (e-nose) devices for the noninvasive early diagnosis of a wide range of GI diseases by collective analysis of headspace volatile organic compound (VOC)-metabolites from clinical samples to produce disease-specific aroma signatures (VOC profiles). A different “metabolomics” approach to GI disease diagnostics, involving identifications and quantifications of disease VOC-metabolites, are compared to the electronic-nose approach based on diagnostic costs, accuracy, advantages and disadvantages. The importance of changes in gut microbiome composition that result from disease are discussed relative to effects on disease detection. A new diagnostic approach, which combines the use of e-nose instruments for early rapid prophylactic disease-screenings with targeted identification of known disease biomarkers, is proposed to yield cheaper, quicker and more dependable diagnostic results. Some priority future research needs and coordination for bringing e-nose instruments into routine clinical practice are summarized

  • Citation: Wilson, A.D. 2018. Application of electronic-nose technologies and VOC-biomarkers for the noninvasive early diagnosis of gastrointestinal diseases. Sensors. 18(8): 2613.
  • Keywords: bacterial dysbiosis, early noninvasive diagnoses, electronic aroma detection, e-nose devices, GI-disease biomarkers, healthcare applications, metabolite profiles, point-of-care testing, volatile organic compounds
  • Posted Date: September 11, 2018
  • Modified Date: February 5, 2019
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