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12 июня 2018, 20:15

Sensor Detects Bad Breath, So Your Date Doesn’t Have To

Stay on target

Stop huffing into cupped hands then quickly inhaling: Researchers have developed a new technology for “breath checks.”

A team of scientists from Korea and the US built a sensor that detects tiny amounts of hydrogen sulfide gas—the compound responsible for stinky smells—in human exhalations.

According to the American Dental Association, half of all adults have suffered from halitosis at some point.

But while bad breath, for most, is simply a nuisance (sometimes an embarrassment), in others it can be a symptom of a more serious medical problem like gum disease, yeast infections in the mouth, and cavities.

Aside from expected morning breath, though, it’s hard to recognize your own mouthy stench. If you don’t have a caring partner like me to point out when your breath reeks, you’re likely to offend anyone in smelling range.

Hydrogen sulfide sensors do exist, but their need for a power source and precise calibration doesn’t exactly make them pre-kiss friendly. That’s about to change, though.

As described in a paper published by the journal Analytical Chemistry , researchers combined lead acetate—a chemical that turns brown when exposed to hydrogen sulfide gas—with a 3D nanofiber web to create a reaction.

Lead author Il-Doo Kim, an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, wants to market a portable halitosis detector for doctors to quickly and cheaply diagnose patients.

By monitoring a color change from white to brown on the sensor surface, the team, including MIT postdoc Seon-Jin Choi, can detect as little as 400 parts per billion of hydrogen sulfide with the naked eye in only one minute.

There is no word on when such a product might be available, and whether it could eventually be mass produced. (Because why go to the doctor’s office to check your breath when you can do it at home?)

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Source: https://www.geek.com/science/sensor-detects-bad-breath-so-your-date-doesnt-have-to-1742376/?source=science