A Nanoscale Artificial Nose to Detect Lung Cancer

Developing a hand held instrument that can detect early stage lung cancer is the aim of the international LCaos project. The LCaos project was funded under the 7th framework of the European Commission. Within the project a new breath analysis instrument has been developed that combines silicon nanowire FET sensors and gold nanoparticle resistive sensors.

The project has

  1. developed arrays of chemically-sensitive field effect transistors (FETs) of non-oxidized, molecule-terminated silicon nanowires (Si NWs);
  2. tested the ability of these devices to sense volatile lung cancer biomarkers from in-vitro tissue, and exhaled human breath;
  3. studied the signal transduction mechanism of the volatile biomarkers, using pattern recognition;
  4. improved systems to enable the NaNose to distinguish the targeted biomarkers from environmental clutter, using methylation, expression profiling, and genome-wide sequencing; and
  5. performed clinical-related studies to assess lung cancer conditions in actual patients & tissues, and in the presence of real-world confounding signals.

Further information is available at