Electronic nose awarded grant

November 25, 2011

LCGC Asia Pacific eNews

LCGC Asia Pacific eNews-11-25-2011, Volume 0, Issue 0

Researchers from the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) in Delhi, India, have been awarded a grant of $950,000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Grand Challenges Canada for their research into an electronic nose that can detect and diagnose TB.

Researchers from the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) in Delhi, India, have been awarded a grant of $950,000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Grand Challenges Canada for their research into an electronic nose that can detect and diagnose TB.

Dr Ranjan Nanda and Dr Virander Chauhan from the ICGEB will gather breath samples from TB patients and use gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to identify and track unique molecules such as volatile organic compounds that can serve as biomarkers to diagnose TB. The grant will enable the data to be validated with samples from four different locations in the country.

The main objective is to make this device available in poor areas where the spread of TB is more common. Dr Nanda commented, “Such a machine will be a boon for India as it will easily diagnose TB patients in less than 10 minutes. Now, a TB patient needs to visit a hospital thrice – twice to give the sputum sample for testing and once to know the result. With the electronic nose, a patient doesn’t have to travel and infect others on the way.”

The Grand Challenges grants are given to innovative ideas that are aimed at developing new technologies to solve issues in the poorest communities. “Diagnosing TB and other pulmonary diseases simply by testing a patient’s breath is a bold idea with potentially big impact,” said Dr Peter Singer, CEO of Grand Challenges Canada. Joseph L. Rotman, Chair of Grand Challenges Canada, added, “We are pleased to support this discovery and, through Grand Challenges Canada’s Integrated Innovation approach, to ensure rapid patient utilization and commercialization, so that the electronic nose is available cost-effectively.”

Grand Challenges Canada officials have estimated that upwards of 400,000 lives a year can be saved in the developing world by early diagnosis and reduced transmission of TB.

For more information visit ref="http://www.gatesfoundation.org">www.gatesfoundation.org

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