Sniffing out cancer using the JPL electronic nose: A pilot study of a novel approach to detection and differentiation of brain cancer
Kateb, Babak, et al. (2009). "Sniffing out cancer using the JPL electronic nose: A pilot study of a novel approach to detection and differentiation of brain cancer." NeuroImage 47, Supplement 2 0: T5-T9
A proof-of-concept study was done to determine whether an electronic nose developed for air quality monitoring at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) could be used to distinguish between the odors of organ and tumor tissues, with an eye to using such a device as one of several modes in multi-modal imaging and tumor differentiation during surgery. Hypothesis We hypothesized that the JPL electronic nose (ENose) would be able to distinguish between the odors of various organ and tumor tissues. Materials and methods The odor signatures, or array response, of two organs, chicken heart and chicken liver, and cultured glioblastoma and melanoma tumor cell lines were recorded using the JPL Electronic Nose. The overall array responses were compared to determine whether they were sufficiently different to allow the organs and cell lines to be identified by their array responses. Results The ENose was able to distinguish between the two types of organ tissue and between the two types of tumor cell lines. The variation in array response for the organ tissues was 19% and between the two types of cultured cell lines was 22%. Conclusion This study shows that it is possible to use an electronic nose to distinguish between two types of tumor cells and between two types of organ tissue. As we conducted the experiment with a sensor array built for air quality monitoring rather than for medical purposes, it may be possible to select an array that is optimized to distinguish between different types of cells and organ tissues. Further focused studies are needed to investigate the odor signatures of different cells as well as cellular proliferation, growth, differentiation and infiltration.