Breath Analyzer Detects Deadly Blood Clots

By examining exhaled air, researchers have created a non-invasive breath analyzer method to monitor the development of tiny blood clots called immunothrombosis. Due to inflammation, immunothrombosis can lead to serious consequences in individuals with severe COVID-19 and exacerbate sepsis, heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses.

The researchers created a non-invasive breath analyzer method that uses breath gas analysis to identify the enzyme thrombin, which is essential for the development of blood clots, as a sign of systemic immunothrombosis, a disorder in which increased thrombin activity is a key component of immunothrombosis. The researchers developed dendritic nanoprobes, composed of tree-like structures with sensing molecules that react to thrombin. A peptide sensitive to thrombin’s activity is included in the polymeric backbone of the probe. This peptide cleaves thrombin to release a volatile molecule easily detected in breath.

Researchers used immunothrombosis mice models to characterize nanoprobes. A blood clot in the carotid artery showed fluorescence, indicating thrombin activity. During immunothrombosis, the gas-based nanoprobe detected higher amounts of volatile gases and enhanced thrombin activity in exhaled breath; however, these levels were reduced as the illness improved. Researchers have gotten important data on thrombosis and inflammation in animal microvessels by measuring the amount of thrombin in breath air. Diagnoses such as immunothrombosis-induced lung failure, which is frequent in COVID-19 patients, may be aided by this. According to the study, using the new breath analyzer method, breath gas analysis may also be useful in detecting other diseases, such as lung fibrosis, cancer, or neurodegeneration.

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