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Advances in Volatile Analyses for Disease Diagnosis

Health care organisations are under strain worldwide due to population increase particularly due to an aging population and also increased expectations from patients. Rapid, low cost and very accurate diagnoses using bio-analytical techniques will be of considerable benefit, especially if tests can be undertaken by relatively unskilled personnel. Very accurate diagnoses with population screening should enable early diagnoses of bladder and other cancers, and this may come about by a combination of tests identifying genes, proteins and smaller, volatile metabolites. Volatile analysis is particularly interesting as a relatively inexpensive platform device based on sensor technology could be used in principle for diagnosing a range of medical conditions where different volatile patterns are indicative of specific medical conditions. There also exists the possibility for sensor array and GC-Sensor devices to be miniaturised whereby the entire measurement system could potentially be incorporated on single micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) based chips. This lecture will review the latest advances in volatile analyses for disease diagnosis.

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