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Nanotecnology has aided in the making of small devices that fit in the palm of the hand. They have sensors able to detect and recognize volatile organic compounds, creating a unique pattern or “smellprint” in each smell.
The detection of these molecules has been used in perfumes and food industry (wine and cheese), as well as in the military field.
During the 80’s the studies and tests started in human Medicine with big devices using complex software. The first electronic nose were able to recognize bacteria in the aire or even lung cancer, but they were far too difficult to use and therefore not handy.
A very important and new door is open in the diagnosis of airway inflamatory chronic diseases. In studies in asthma and smoke-induced chronic bronchitis, results with a more than 90% reliability have been seen.