Via particles and aerosols - early detection of lung diseases

New approach of PExA and GRIMM Aerosol Technik

There is no non-invasive, user-friendly technology for measuring lung status. Severe lung diseases often start with pathological changes in the small airways. Treatment is more effective if detected early. With every breath we take, the lower airways release particles and droplet aerosols. These contain important information about the functional status of the lungs. This is where GRIMM Aerosol Technik comes in in a joint project with the Swedish partner PExA. The Swedes have developed a novel approach to collect particle samples from these small airways to analyze potential protein biomarkers. Such protein concentrations can be combined with physiological markers by phenotyping. The major advantages are:

  • Efficiency, reliability and the option to repeat,
  • non-invasive and easy to implement,
  • sampling can also be carried out on elderly and sick people,
  • the analysis provides both quantitative and qualitative results.

At the same time they measure the particle number size distribution with the optical particle counter 11-D of GRIMM which is integrated in the system. These data will be used to calculate a timeless particle mass distribution in exhaled air, which is fundamental for a reproducible standardized method. Preliminary results suggest that online monitoring of particle flow rate could provide a new, complementary approach to the detection of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and "PExA" as a complementary technique to gain further important insights into the pathophysiology of the lung.

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