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Wanted: Companies to license life-saving breath test developed at NJIT

medical knowledge and combined it with 21st century science, and the result is an amazing new technology for detecting diseases".

Phillips has published research in peer-reviewed medical journals--including the prestigious journals Chest (2003) and Lancet (1999) --showing that the breath test can also detect lung cancer, breast cancer, tuberculosis, and pre-eclampsia, a life-threatening complication of pregnancy. Although other researchers around the world are working on similar devices, Phillips said that his company has developed the most advanced technology for breath testing, and has tested it more thoroughly in humans with diseases.

Besides the Heartsbreath test, Phillips is also developing breath tests for other diseases, including lung cancer, breast cancer, tuberculosis, cardiac chest pain and oral malodor. The lung cancer test is the furthest along in development. "This test could potentially save many lives," said Phillips, "because if lung cancer is detected at an early stage and treated aggressively, the chances of survival are greatly increased".

The basis of these breath tests is a process called oxidative stress, in which a disease generates excessive amounts of free radicals, molecules with unpaired electrons that make them highly reactive. Free radicals oxidize cell membranes, releasing the volatile organic compounds that are exhaled in the breath. Phillips developed the world's most sensitive breathalyzer by capturing and concentrating volatile organic compounds in the breath onto activated carbon, then separating them with a gas chromatograph and identifying them with a mass spectrometer. The test detects around 200 different volatile organic compounds in a single sample of breath, in distinctive patterns that can determine health or illness, Phillips said.

From a patient's viewpoint, a breath test can reduce risk, pain and cost. For example, patients who undergo heart transplants must be checked frequently for
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Contact: Sheryl Weinstein
sheryl.m.weinstein@njit.edu
973-596-3436
New Jersey Institute of Technology
10-Aug-2005


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