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

rejection of the new heart with a test known as endomyocardial biopsy. This is expensive as well as invasive. The cardiologist must insert a catheter into a vein in the neck, pass it down into the heart, cut several samples from the inner surface of the new heart, and remove them through the catheter. A pathologist then examines these samples under a microscope for signs of rejection.

But using the Heartsbreath test, the patient simply breathes for two minutes in a plastic tube. The volatile organic compounds in the breath are captured in a trap, a stainless steel cylinder the size of a cigarette. A sample of room air is collected on to a separate trap. The samples are then sent to the laboratory for chemical analysis, followed by data analysis with specialized computer software.

"Our test is faster, easier, less painful, and a costs a lot less money than a biopsy. Also, it is not going to create future complications for the patient," said Sukhjit Sidhu, MD, a physician who works in the Menssana Breath Research Laboratory.

If the concept sounds familiar, it is. The breath test is modeled on the breathalyzer machines that police carry around in their cars to test drunk drivers. "The only difference," said Phillips, "is that our breath test is a billion times more sensitive than the breathalyzers the police use. Thanks to modern analytical technology, we can detect chemical markers of disease that the body produces in minute concentrations."


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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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