Scientists in Britain say they built a device that can read odors in urine to
help diagnose patients with early signs of bladder cancer.
Chris Probert of the University of Liverpool's Institute of Translational
Medicine and Norman Ratcliffe of the Institute of Biosensor Technology at UWE
Bristol said there are no reliable biomarkers to screen patients for bladder
cancer in the same way that there are for breast and cervical cancers, but
previous research has suggested a particular odor in the urine could be detected
by dogs trained to recognize the scent.
"It is thought that dogs can smell cancer, but this is obviously not a practical
way for hospitals to diagnose the disease," Ratcliffe said in a statement.
"Taking this principle, however, we have developed a device that can give us a
profile of the odor in urine. It reads the gases that chemicals in the urine can
give off when the sample is heated."
The team built the Odoreader, which contains a sensor that responds to chemicals
in gas emitted from urine.
The device, constructed in the laboratories at UWE Bristol's Institute of
Biosensor Technology, analyzes the gas and produces a "profile" of the chemicals
The findings were published in the journal Plos One.