Detecting lung diseases with SpiroNose

Lennart Verhoef News

spironose1By integrating spirometry with the eNose technology of Comon Invent, a new diagnostic method to detect the difference between the breath of healthy people and the breath of patients with asthma, COPD or lung cancer is available. The SpiroNose method also has the ability to distinguish COPD patients from both asthma and lung cancer patients. The Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam leads research with the SpiroNose method.


The air that we breathe is composed for the most part of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapor. About 1% of our exhaled air consists of so-called volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Each breath contains about 200 different VOCs. Everyone breaths out other combinations of VOCs, therefore, this combination of VOCs is specific for every individual.


Recently, much research has been done about exhalation air, and the ability to make a distinction on the basis of VOC’s exhaled breath between patients and healthy people. AMC has investigated the diagnostic potential of the combination of eNose  (electronic nose measuring exhaled VOCs) with a spirometer (a device that tests the lung function). This combination is called SpiroNose.

The SpiroNose consists of 4 sensor arrays with 4 sensors for breath analysis (inserted in the inner tube), and the 4 sensor arrays with 4 sensors for ambient air measurements (placed in the outer tube). In total the SpiroNose comprises of eight different sensors. Hence, both exhaled breath and ambient air can be measured in duplicate.


From experience it is known that correction for ambient air is very important and has much influence on the quality of the signal. For this reason, the SpiroNose consists of two layers, an inner and an outer tube. The layer formation of the SpiroNose makes it possible to measure also the surroundings during the breath analysis.

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Lennart VerhoefDetecting lung diseases with SpiroNose