Researchers design a device that uses an ultraviolet lamp to measure exhaled acetone gas

Service Engineering

Researchers from Tohoku University, Japan, have designed a device that uses an ultraviolet lamp to measure exhaled acetone gas produced in the blood through the metabolic reaction of fat – the details have been published in Sensors journal.

Professor Yuji Matsuura, research leader from Tohoku University’s Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering and his team, focused on ultraviolet light due to its remarkably short wavelength being completely absorbed by acetone gas. While the acetone concentration was 1ppm in exhaled air, the researchers successfully measured the acetone concentration with high accuracy: 0.03 ppm.

“Researchers design a device that uses an ultraviolet lamp to measure exhaled acetone gas.“

Exhaled air was caught in a hollow optical fibre, a long path and a tiny volume gas cell revealed to vacuum ultraviolet light emitted by an ultraviolet lamp.

To assess the acetone gas concentration, the team measured the degree to which light is diminished due to acetone gas absorption.

The researchers discovered that fat burning rates steadily enhanced post-exercise when putting the device to use. However, the rate was constant during exercise, which meant that a large part of fat metabolisation happens after training.

Professor Yuji Matsuura stated: “Precise measurements of acetone gas concentration allows us to determine the body’s ability to metabolise fat and develop exercise methods for efficient fat burning. The present research may also lead to non invasive diagnosis methods for diabetes since diabetic patients have high concentrations of acetone gas in their breath.”

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