Summary of the technology
A group of researchers from Portuguese university developed a device that allows the collection and storage of the exhaled alveolar air by humans.
The invention aims simultaneously to overcome some of the technical difficulties in the current state of the art, such as i) little or no response in the selective collection of alveolar air fraction ii) the inability to couple systems that allow concentration/extraction of analytes of interest iii) the inexistence of systems to the storage of the collected biofluid under controlled conditions and iv) the inability to collect exhaled air in liquid or vapor state.
The university is looking for companies interested in the industrial production of the equipment and its commercialization.
Main advantages of its use
This invention has the following advantages over existing technologies:
- Increased shelf life of the collected air;
- Differentiation of the air exhaled;
- Air storage in gaseous or condensed state;
- Self- cleaning equipment
- Air storage at controlled temperature and stirring
The exhaled alveolar air is representative of changes that occur on the interface blood / air in the lungs and it may be used as a source of biomarkers in clinical analysis, as happens now with the blood or urine, with the advantage of its non-invasive collection. Despite this not being a clinical practice yet, the scientific community has recognized its potential and the biomarker study in exhaled air is rapidly increasing.
The present invention developed by a Portuguese university is a device comprising two subsystems. The first subsystem, portable and autonomous, collects the alveolar exhaled air fraction, identified by its CO2 content and its flow. The alveolar air fraction triggers a valve that collects it in an airtight bag. This bag is stored in the second subsystem with controlled temperature and stirring to ensure the quality and reproducibility of the subsequent analysis. The air exhaled in several expirations of the same user can be collected in the same bag.
This equipment provides a quick and non-invasive solution for the collection, separation, and storage of the expired air of patients for purposes of medical diagnosis and research.
This equipment is oriented, in the long run, for clinical use as an aid in diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of health status or treatment.
Intellectual property status
Current development status
Tested in laboratory. Prototype available for demonstration.
Desired business relationship
The university aims to license this technology to companies with development or production and marketing capacity of sensors for the development of business solutions in the environmental, pharmaceutical, biotechnology or materials areas. The university is also available to participate in this development.