Revolutionizing Disease Detection with Nanoparticle Biomarker Tagging (NBT) Technology
Ancon Medical has ushered in a groundbreaking era of disease detection with its cutting-edge Nanoparticle Biomarker Tagging (NBT) technology. This innovative system empowers healthcare professionals to identify life-threatening diseases through a patient’s breath.
How Does NBT Work?
NBT leverages the complex mixture of molecules found in exhaled breath, originating from bodily fluids and microbial emissions. Diseases manifest as distinct combinations of these molecules, serving as unique “biomarkers” that act as early warning signals for medical practitioners. Identifying these biomarkers equips doctors with the ability to deliver timely diagnoses and initiate potentially life-saving treatments.
Discovering these biomarkers poses a challenge due to the presence of abundant molecules like nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide, which can obscure the detection of biomarker molecules present in much smaller quantities.
Researchers have successfully identified biomarkers for various diseases, including lung cancer and tuberculosis. NBT’s reliability for lung cancer detection was confirmed through comparisons with chest CT scans, opening doors to broader clinical applications of breath tests.
What Sets NBT Apart?
NBT boasts unparalleled sensitivity in biomarker detection. For lung cancer, NBT can discern biomarker molecules at concentrations billions of times lower than other airborne molecules. It outperforms existing technologies in detecting trace molecules by a million-fold, even surpassing the sensitivity of gas chromatography mass spectrometry—an expensive, laboratory-restricted method.
Unlike gas chromatography mass spectrometry, NBT is a self-contained portable laboratory housed within a desktop enclosure. It meticulously examines biomarkers on a molecular level through several stages, achieving unmatched detection sensitivity. This is accomplished by physically amplifying the biomarker molecule, enabling easy detection with a laser counter. NBT can amplify a biomarker’s mass nearly one billion times.
NBT enables the detection and identification of single ions and single molecules. Despite its cutting-edge complexity, this technology offers an elegantly simple approach, ensuring affordability at a fraction of current technologies’ cost.
The potent sensitivity of NBT technology was demonstrated in the Boulby Underground Laboratory—an environment devoid of cosmic rays and ionizing radiation. In August 2012, the NBT detector showcased a low detection limit of one ion in 10,000 cubic centimeters, proving that NBT technology can indeed achieve single ion and single molecule detection.
NBT can rapidly detect the lung cancer biomarker molecule, butylated hydroxytoluene, in exhaled breath within minutes.
NBT technology far surpasses the capabilities of similar technologies like the Faraday cup, Wilson chamber technology, and mass spectrometry, all hampered by lower sensitivity or interface-related issues.
To enhance NBT’s capabilities, commercially available technology such as Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry (FAIMS) or Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) has been employed. With this approach, NBT has successfully detected lung cancer and tuberculosis biomarkers.
NBT technology has received funding from the Technology Strategy Board UK (TSB) and the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) to pioneer its applications in medicine, life sciences, and various other domains. Ancon Medical remains at the forefront of advancing this transformative technology.