Detection of Tuberculosis Associated Breath Biomarkers Via Engineered Electroactive Solutions

Shaylee Larson, Christina Willis, Swomitra Mohanty, Chemical Engineering, Univesity of Utah, 50 South Central Campus Dr, RM 3290, Salt Lake City, UT 84112

The World Health Organization has cited tuberculosis (TB) as a global health emergency. As this is a disease that mainly affects those in developing countries, it is important to provide a rapid and affordable means of diagnosis. Emerging work has shown breath biopsy to be a promising resource for diagnosing a variety of diseases, but is particularly promising for TB, as it negates the need for sputum collection that can cause many problems in young or ill patients and can provide results at point of care. 

The breath of a patient diagnosed with TB contains volatile organic biomarkers (VOBs) that are given off by the bacteria that cause the disease. Prior work from our group shows that detection of VOBs via functionalized titanium dioxide sensors has been successful in very sick patients, however, it is limited in its ability to detect low analyte levels and has unknown specificity in a complex human breath matrix. This work focuses on the use of engineered electroactive solutions (EAS) as an alternative approach to detecting low levels of TB VOBs. Preliminary results indicate that the use of EAS, a liquid-phase complex which utilizes a functional metal in solution to specifically bind TB VOBs dissolved in it, can improve the current sensing platform by simplifying the electrode configuration and allowing the use of more complex electrochemical techniques (in this case square wave voltammetry (SWV)). Furthermore, implementation of a cobalt EAS has led to the successful detection of VOBs at levels that would be feasible in human breath. As human breath may contain many potential confounders, successful optimization of analysis techniques around human breath samples is vital. This work will explore a means of optimizing EAS sensing parameters by analyzing and reducing interferences from patient breath. Results from these experiments will be presented.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Shaylee Larson

Institution: University of Utah

Type: Poster

Subject: Engineering

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 6
Date/Time: Tue 2:00pm-3:00pm
Session Number: 4623