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One of the main focusses of the work undertaken in the Biomedical Sensors Laboratory is in the detection of gas phase biomarkers emanating from human waste. It is well known that the odours emanating from biological fluids contain information about the health of an individual. For thousands of years, doctors used to "sniff" their patients as part of the diagnosis, a practice no longer undertaken in medicine. However, modern gas analysis technologies, such as the electronic nose, can be used to measure and identify these odours and from it make a prediction on the health of an individual.

The BioMedical Sensors Laboratory was setup to investigate a broad range of diseases and attempt to link them to odours from human waste. We have extensive test facilities (see Facilities page) and approvals in place to run almost any biological samples. We work closely with University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire who are our main collaborators, but also the Royal Marston in London, Glenfield Hospital in Leicester and the Royal Hospital in Liverpool. We have full ethical approval for many studies are are testing in excess of 1,000 samples per year.

Our group undertakes both chemical identification of biomarkers, testing with different electronic nose instrumentation and then perform data analysis to calculate a range of statistical parameters. Since the creation of the BioMedical Sensors Lab in 2011, we have looked a large number of disease using urine, breath, stool and swabs. Listed below are some of the different diseases we have investigated:

  • Alzheimer's disease (breath)
  • Bile acid malabsorption (urine)
  • Bladder cancer (urine)
    Medical Picture
  • Clostridium difficile (stool)
  • Coeliac's disease (urine)
  • Colorectal cancer (urine)
  • Covid-19 (Breath)
  • Crohns disease (breath, urine and stool)
  • Diabetes (urine)
  • Hepatic encephalopathy (breath)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (urine and stool)
  • Liver disease (urine and breath)
  • Malnutrition in children (stool)
  • Obesity (urine)
  • Pancreatic cancer (urine)
  • Pelvic radiation recovery monitoring (stool)
  • Pre-term labour (vaginal wipe)
  • Prostate cancer (urine)
  • Respiratory tract Infection (breath)
  • Sepsis in Adults/children (stool)
  • Tuberculosis (breath)
  • Ulcerative colitis (breath, urine and stool)
  • Urinary tract infection (urine)
  • Vaginal infection (swabs)
  • Wound infection (swabs)

For further information on specific disease, please look at our list of publications.