Project

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Laser spectroscopic breath analysis for the prevention of obesity through indi-vidual energy balance monitoring

English title Laser spectroscopic breath analysis for the prevention of obesity through indi-vidual energy balance monitoring
Applicant Emmenegger Lukas
Number 145138
Funding scheme NRP 69 Healthy Nutrition and Sustainable Food Production
Research institution Luftfremdstoffe / Umwelttechnik 500 - Mobility, Energy and Environment EMPA
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology - EMPA
Main discipline Clinical Nutritional Research
Start/End 01.01.2014 - 30.06.2017
Approved amount 300'000.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Clinical Nutritional Research
Metabolic Disorders
Microelectronics. Optoelectronics

Keywords (7)

ketogenesis; diet monitoring; metabolic disorders; Weight-loss program; energy deficit; breath tests; laser spectroscopy

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Le but de ce projet est de développer un analyseur basé sur la spectroscopie par laser, permettant de mesurer dans l’air expiré des substances représentatives pour le métabolisme des graisses et le bilan énergétique. Ceci permettra aux patients obèses d’évaluer et optimiser leur traitement au jour le jour.
Lay summary

Contexte

L’obésité est associée à une résistance à l’insuline, et augmente fortement le risque de développer un diabète, des maladies cardiovasculaires, et certains types de cancer. Son traitement médical repose sur l’association d’une restriction alimentaire, d’une amélioration de la qualité des nutriments, et sur l’exercice physique. L’ensemble de ces mesures vise à produire un déficit énergétique, conduisant à une utilisation des stocks de graisse corporelle et à une perte de poids. Ces traitements sont cependant associés à un taux d’échec sévère. Ceci s’explique par le fait qu’il est difficile pour les patients d’évaluer si leurs apports alimentaires sont suffisamment réduit pour entraîner un déficit énergétique. Dans la pratique actuelle, la seule manière d’évaluer l’efficacité du traitement est la mesure du poids corporel, qui ne survient que des semaines, voire des mois plus tard.

But

Le but de ce projet est de développer un analyseur basé sur la spectroscopie par laser permettant de mesurer dans l’air expiré l’acétone et d’autres métabolites produits par le métabolisme des graisses. L’acétone est formée dans l’organisme lors d’un déficit énergétique même de courte durée. Sa mesure dans l’air expiré permettra donc aux patients d’évaluer l’efficacité de leur traitement au jour le jour, et d’adapter leur alimentation et leur activité physique le cas échéant. Il constituera en outre un élément de motivation important.

Portée

Ces analyseurs d’air expiré, basés sur une nouvelle technologie hautement performante, permettront d’obtenir des informations immédiates sur les effets d’un régime ou d’un exercice, et ce de manière non-invasive et sans désagrément pour le patient. Ils constitueront une aide considérable en même temps qu’un facteur de motivation pour les patients obèses. Leur emploi à large échelle permettra dans le futur d’améliorer le traitement et la prévention de l’obésité et à réduire les coûts qui lui sont associés.


Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 26.08.2013

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
A laser based gas analyser will be developed to identify breath metabolites for the monitoring of energy metabolism and energy balance. This should help overweight patients to assess, optimize and maintain their weight loss program.
Lay summary

Background

Obesity is associated with many diseases, such as diabetes and insulin resistance, heart diseases, and some cancers. Its first line treatment includes a reduced-energy diet associated with exercise. When following such a program, subjects will lose body weight if their energy balance is negative, i.e. they are submitted to an energy deficit due to an energy intake lower than their energy requirement. Even a small energy deficit will, in the long term, result in an important weight loss. However, overweight patients frequently experience major difficulties in achieving and maintaining a significant weight loss. One reason is that they cannot rely on a sensitive and acute marker to monitor their efforts. In fact, patients and health care workers currently rely on body weight changes which can sometimes only be observed after several months to assess whether the intervention is successful.

Aim

This project aims at developing a laser based breath analyser for acetone and other metabolites, to determine, on a day-to-day basis, whether an energy deficit is present. This will provide an immediate assessment of the efficiency of an intervention, and allow early and continuous adjustments of dietary intakes and physical activity. In addition, it will provide a biofeedback so that patients can be encouraged to pursue their efforts.

Significance

This technology seeks to provide users with unique information regarding their diet and dietary changes. It expects to enhance the success of weight loss programs and increase adequate nutrition by enhancing the patient’s motivation and compliance. Therefore, this project will significantly contribute to reduce health costs associated with poor nutrition, obesity and metabolic diseases.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 26.08.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Highly Selective Volatile Organic Compounds Breath Analysis Using a Broadly-Tunable Vertical-External-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser
Tuzson Béla, Jágerská Jana, Looser Herbert, Graf Manuel, Felder Ferdinand, Fill Matthias, Tappy Luc, Emmenegger Lukas (2017), Highly Selective Volatile Organic Compounds Breath Analysis Using a Broadly-Tunable Vertical-External-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser, in Analytical Chemistry , 89 (12), 6377-6383.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Camlin Technologies Switzerland (Europe)
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
3rd WORKshop on Infrared Technologies Talk given at a conference Mid-IR spectroscopy for the detection of organic molecules 07.11.2016 Olching, Germany Scheidegger Philipp; Looser Herbert; Tuzson Béla; Emmenegger Lukas;
Field Laser Applications in Industry and Research (FLAIR) Talk given at a conference Highly specific breath acetone analysis using a 3.3 μm broadly-tunable VECSEL 12.09.2016 Aix-les-Bains, France Jágerská Jana; Tappy Luc; Tuzson Béla; Emmenegger Lukas; Looser Herbert;
Laser Applications to Chemical, Security, and Environmental Analysis (LACSEA) Talk given at a conference Application of Mid-IR VECSEL in Life Sciences: Highly Specific Acetone Analysis in Human Breath 25.07.2016 Heidelberg, Germany Jágerská Jana; Looser Herbert; Tuzson Béla; Tappy Luc; Emmenegger Lukas;
International workshop on opportunities and challenges in mid-infrared laser-based gas sensing (Mirsens 3) Talk given at a conference Selective and Sensitive VOC Breath Analysis Using a 3.3 μm Broadly-Tunable VECSEL 05.03.2016 Würzburg, Germany Jágerská Jana; Tappy Luc; Looser Herbert; Tuzson Béla; Emmenegger Lukas;
CLEO: Laser Science to Photonic Applications Talk given at a conference Highly Selective VOC Breath Analysis Using a 3.3 μm Broadly-Tunable VECSEL 10.05.2015 San Jose, United States of America Tuzson Béla; Jágerská Jana; Emmenegger Lukas; Tappy Luc; Looser Herbert;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
176584 High-resolution QCL frequency comb spectrometer for the detection of trace gases and their isotopes 01.05.2018 Bridge - Discovery

Abstract

Obesity is associated with several diseases, such as diabetes and insulin resistance, heart diseases, and some cancers. Its first line treatment includes a reduced-energy diet associated with exercise. When following such a program, subjects will lose body weight if their energy balance is negative, i.e. they are submitted to an energy deficit due to an energy intake lower than their energy requirement. Even a small energy deficit can, in the long term, result in an important weight loss.Overweight patients on a weight-loss program frequently experience major difficulties in achieving a significant weight loss and in maintaining it in the long term, and eventually regain weight. One reason is that they cannot rely on a sensitive and acute marker to monitor the success of their efforts. A successfully weight loss interven-tion requires that energy intake remains lower than energy requirements for an extended period of time. Even a small energy deficit of 100-200 kcal/day, if maintained over time, will eventually lead to weight loss, but at a slow rate of about to 1 kg per 2 or 3 months. In practical terms, it means that patients (and health care workers) rely on body weight changes which sometimes they can observe only after several months to assess whether the intervention is adequate or not. The lack of early markers for an energy deficit therefore precludes making early adjustments if required.The breath analyser will be based on laser based infrared spectroscopy in the 3 um spectral range. Although, in this frequency domain nearly all organic molecules exhibit characteristic absorptions due to C-H stretching, it has been largely unexploited because of missing light sources. Such light sources, however, are now becoming available, which creates exciting, yet challenging new options that will be exploited in this project for compact and highly sensitive gas analysis for medical applications.The research project is divided into two work packages and three partners covering the development of the gas sensor (Empa and FHNW) and its application in energy balance studies (Uni Lausanne / CHUV).
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