Science and Technology
Innovative scientific research and technical developments form the basis of our solution.
Our clinical and academic partners use our solution and analysis services across a wide range of applications. There is an almost unlimited number of future applications in diagnostics and precision medicine for various types of cancer, infectious and inflammatory diseases. Hereby BreathBase meets the growing demand for precision medicine.
Our BreathBase Platform in combination with the easy to use SpiroNose offers a complete solution for the measurement and analysis of the complete mixture of VOCs in exhaled breath. Integrate exhaled breath analysis into your clinical studies by simply leasing the all-in-one BreathBase Solution.
SpiroNose: For reliable and reproducible measurements of VOCs in exhaled breath in a point-of-care setting.
BreathBase Platform: From high-quality breath measurements to the generation and validation of diagnostic models.
A clinically validated breath database that serves as a reference for new patients.
Challenges in diagnosis and management of respiratory diseases
Respiratory diseases are highly prevalent and exhibit large morbidity and mortality. Even though there are global standards for the diagnosis and management of for instance asthma, COPD and lung cancer, it appears that there is large heterogeneity amongst individual patients with the same diagnosis.
The fundamental progress in modern medicine has been the recognition that the biological mechanisms driving the abnormalities in separate patients do vary substantially. This has considerable implications for the selection of therapy. The success of current and new (biological) treatments varies widely between patients, depending on the underlying molecular networks.
The common diagnostic tools in the clinic are insufficiently allowing stratification of individual patients based on their biological heterogeneity. This requires detailed ‘phenotyping’ of patients. Capturing molecular disease signatures of individual patients will therefore represent a step-change in the diagnosis and management of respiratory diseases. Exhaled air analysis qualifies for this.
Why using exhaled breath?
Personalized medicine requires capturing complex biological information about each individual patient. The current molecular platforms mapping RNA (transcriptomics) or proteins (proteomics) are highly suitable for this, but are not applicable in clinical practice requiring extensive laboratory procedures. The present challenge therefore is to get molecular medicine to point-of-care.
Exhaled breath comprises a composite mixture of metabolites and their fragments (volatile organic compounds: VOCs) that can be assessed entirely non-invasively. These compounds are derived from multiple sources, varying between the respiratory tract, lungs and blood. They can be measured by analytical chemistry techniques or by so-called electronic noses (eNoses). Because of the wide metabolic spectrum of exhaled air, molecular pattern recognition has appeared to be most suitable for effective diagnosis and phenotyping of individual patients.
The step-change in implementing an eNose in the doctor’s office has been its integration with spirometry (SpiroNose) and its connection with a reference database in the cloud that runs the real-time pattern recognition algorithms (BreathBase). This provides evidence-based probabilities on diagnosis and (inflammatory) phenotype of patients with asthma, COPD and lung cancer in point-of-care. Notably, for the first time this makes in-depth diagnostic information accessible during the actual patient consultation. This will largely facilitate individual patient management.
Diagnostic tests are an essential part of modern medicine. The ultimate goal of diagnosis and monitoring is to optimize the outcome or prognosis for the patient by giving the clinician directions for a clinical management strategy. Even though physiological and cell-based procedures, such as spirometry, blood test and induced sputum are often routinely available in respiratory medicine, these test require laboratory procedures and are therefore not applicable for use in the doctor’s office.
The missing link in the field of breathomics that we provide with our BreathBase Solution is the combination of:
- Reproducible and interchangeable eNose data
- Artificial Intelligence for direct online pattern recognition
- And an integrated clinically validated database to enable data driven medicine
The sensor data of the SpiroNose is reproducible and interchangeable (De Vries ERJ 2018 & De Vries JBR 2015), and the analysis algorithms have shown adequate transferability between devices. The latter allows for the exchange of results between different labs and locations, which is a prerequisite for clinical implementation.
The BreathBase Platform analyzes patients’ exhaled breath in real-time, based on advanced signal processing and an extensive online reference database, infused with AI. AI can provide insights that are predictive in nature – allowing assessment of the most probable diagnosis and pinpointing individuals who are more likely to respond to specific treatments.
The simplicity of the breath test and the integrated database allows for data driven medicine. With the data instantly at their fingertips, physicians and GPs have more information to provide on the spot care. The breath data of each patient that participate in clinical research will be added to the expanding breath database to make subsequent classification more accurate.
Data driven medicine
It is increasingly realized that patients are not alike. This has been shown in asthma, COPD, lung cancer and other respiratory diseases, where patients vary in the molecular networks underlying their disease. Therefore, getting to grips with biological complexity becomes mandatory for therapeutic decisions. However, molecular networks can insufficiently be established by common clinical procedures.
The biological mechanisms of disease are seldom straight and simple. Modern technologies allow mapping molecular networks by so-called ‘omics’ platforms, by which a full molecular spectrum is assessed in a single measurement. This delivers a ‘fingerprint’ of the patient’s individual biology, which can include entirely novel and unanticipated networks.
This molecular data is huge, thereby providing a powerful tool to recognize distinct patients, for instance regarding their responsiveness to particular therapies. When added to what is known about the patient’s clinical condition, such data is clearing the way to effective, personalized and precision medicine. BreathBase meets the demands for such integrated database.