Special Issue "Noninvasive Early Disease Diagnosis"

A special issue of Biosensors (ISSN 2079-6374). This special issue belongs to the section "Biosensors and Healthcare".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 May 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. A. Dan Wilson
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Head Research Pathologist, USDA Forest Service R&D, Southern Hardwoods Laboratory, Southern Research Station, Stoneville, MS, 38776-0227 USA
Interests: electronic noses; biomedical applications, clinical diagnostics; chemical sensors; noninvasive early disease detection, disease biomarker identification

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Biosensors focuses on recent sensors, biosensors, metabolomic instruments and associated methods developed for the noninvasive early detection and diagnosis of plant, animal, or human diseases. It celebrates over 30 years of sensor device developments for disease detection since electronic nose devices were first introduced in the mid-1980s. Since then, a wide range of sensor-system applications have been developed and applied to biomedical, clinical, and diagnostic applications. Among the key advantages of instruments that can detect complex mixtures of volatile organic compound (VOC) analytes in gaseous clinical samples are the capabilities of achieving noninvasive early disease detection before disease symptoms appear. The capability of simplifying and classifying complex chemical samples into simple sensory outputs make these devices unique among analytical instruments. These devices have the improved characteristics of simple operation, relatively low-cost, and real-time operation with high sample through-put.

For this Special Issue, we consider a wide range of sensor devices, designed for the common purpose of early disease detection, and developed for applications in laboratory, clinical, point-of-care testing, and scientific research situations. We are particularly interesting in receiving papers on recently developed novel instruments based on new approaches or technologies of early disease diagnostics that potentially improve on current or conventional diagnostic methods by yielding earlier and more accurate and reliable results that improve prognoses and reduce total healthcare costs.

Dr. A. Dan Wilson
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biosensors is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Noninvasive early diagnosis
  • Clinical pathology
  • Electronic nose
  • Disease diagnostics
  • Point-of-care testing
  • Chemical sensors
  • Clinical pathology
  • Dysbiosis
  • Disease biomarkers
  • Metabolomics
  • Volatile organic compounds

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Noninvasive Early Disease Diagnosis by Electronic-Nose and Related VOC-Detection Devices
Biosensors 2020, 10(7), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10070073 - 06 Jul 2020
Abstract
This editorial provides an overview and summary of recent research articles published in Biosensors journal, volumes 9 (2019) and 10 (2020), within the Special Issue “Noninvasive Early Disease Diagnosis”, which focused on recent sensors, biosensors, and clinical instruments developed for the [...] Read more.
This editorial provides an overview and summary of recent research articles published in Biosensors journal, volumes 9 (2019) and 10 (2020), within the Special Issue “Noninvasive Early Disease Diagnosis”, which focused on recent sensors, biosensors, and clinical instruments developed for the noninvasive early detection and diagnosis of human, animal, and plant diseases or invasive pests. The six research articles included in this Special Issue provide examples of some of the latest electronic-nose (e-nose) and related volatile organic compound (VOC)-detection technologies, which are being tested and developed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of innovative diagnostic methodologies for the early detection of particular diseases and pest infestations in living hosts, prior to symptom development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noninvasive Early Disease Diagnosis)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Fecal Volatile Organic Compound Profiles are Not Influenced by Gestational Age and Mode of Delivery: A Longitudinal Multicenter Cohort Study
Biosensors 2020, 10(5), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10050050 - 11 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Fecal volatile organic compounds (VOC) reflect human and gut microbiota metabolic pathways and their interaction. VOC behold potential as non-invasive preclinical diagnostic biomarkers in various diseases, e.g., necrotizing enterocolitis and late onset sepsis. There is a need for standardization and assessment of the [...] Read more.
Fecal volatile organic compounds (VOC) reflect human and gut microbiota metabolic pathways and their interaction. VOC behold potential as non-invasive preclinical diagnostic biomarkers in various diseases, e.g., necrotizing enterocolitis and late onset sepsis. There is a need for standardization and assessment of the influence of clinical and environmental factors on the VOC outcome before this technique can be applied in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of gestational age (GA) and mode of delivery on the fecal VOC pattern in preterm infants born below 30 weeks of gestation. Longitudinal fecal samples, collected on days 7, 14, and 21 postnatally, were analyzed by an electronic nose device (Cyranose 320®). In total, 58 preterm infants were included (29 infants born at GA 24–26 weeks vs. 29 at 27–29 completed weeks, 24 vaginally born vs. 34 via C-section). No differences were identified at any predefined time point in terms of GA and delivery mode (p > 0.05). We, therefore, concluded that correction for these factors in this population is not warranted when performing fecal VOC analysis in the first three weeks of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noninvasive Early Disease Diagnosis)
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Open AccessArticle
The Detection of Wound Infection by Ion Mobility Chemical Analysis
Biosensors 2020, 10(3), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10030019 - 29 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Surgical site infection represents a large burden of care in the National Health Service. Current methods for diagnosis include a subjective clinical assessment and wound swab culture that may take several days to return a result. Both techniques are potentially unreliable and result [...] Read more.
Surgical site infection represents a large burden of care in the National Health Service. Current methods for diagnosis include a subjective clinical assessment and wound swab culture that may take several days to return a result. Both techniques are potentially unreliable and result in delays in using targeted antibiotics. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are produced by micro-organisms such as those present in an infected wound. This study describes the use of a device to differentiate VOCs produced by an infected wound vs. colonised wound. Malodourous wound dressings were collected from patients, these were a mix of post-operative wounds and vascular leg ulcers. Wound microbiology swabs were taken and antibiotics commenced as clinically appropriate. A control group of soiled, but not malodorous wound dressings were collected from patients who had a split skin graft (SSG) donor site. The analyser used was a G.A.S. GC-IMS. The results from the samples had a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 88%, with a positive predictive value of 90%. An area under the curve (AUC) of 91% demonstrates an excellent ability to discriminate those with an infected wound from those without. VOC detection using GC-IMS has the potential to serve as a diagnostic tool for the differentiation of infected and non-infected wounds and facilitate the treatment of wound infections that is cost effective, non-invasive, acceptable to patients, portable, and reliable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noninvasive Early Disease Diagnosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of the Portable C-320 Electronic Nose for Discrimination of Nine Insectivorous Bat Species: Implications for Monitoring White-Nose Syndrome
Biosensors 2020, 10(2), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios10020012 - 13 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The development of new C-320 electronic-nose (e-nose) methods for pre-symptomatic detection of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) in bats has required efficacy studies of instrument capabilities to discriminate between major sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) derived from clinical samples. In this phase-2 study, we [...] Read more.
The development of new C-320 electronic-nose (e-nose) methods for pre-symptomatic detection of White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) in bats has required efficacy studies of instrument capabilities to discriminate between major sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) derived from clinical samples. In this phase-2 study, we further tested this e-nose for capabilities to distinguish between bat species based on differences in whole-body VOC emissions. Live healthy individuals of nine bat species were temporarily captured outside of caves in Arkansas and Louisiana. VOC emissions from bats were collected using newly developed portable air collection and sampling-chamber devices in tandem. Sensor-array output responses to bat VOC emissions were compared to those of 22 pure VOC analytical standards from five chemical classes. Distinct smellprint signatures were produced from e-nose analyses of VOC metabolites derived from individual bat species. Smellprint patterns were analyzed using 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to produce aroma map plots showing effective discrimination between bat species with high statistical significance. These results demonstrate potential instrument efficacy for distinguishing between species-specific, bat-derived VOC metabolite emissions as major components of clinical samples collected from bats in caves for disease detection prior to symptom development. This study provided additional information required to fully test the efficacy of a portable e-nose instrument for diagnostic applications in subsequent phase-3 testing of noninvasive, early WNS disease detection in intra-cave hibernating bats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noninvasive Early Disease Diagnosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Detection of Emerald Ash Borer Infestations in Living Green Ash by Noninvasive Electronic-Nose Analysis of Wood Volatiles
Biosensors 2019, 9(4), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9040123 - 13 Oct 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The emerald ash borer (EAB) has been the most destructive and costly nonnative insect to threaten the health of ash (Fraxinus) species in North America for at least the past 25 years. The development of methods for detecting visually-hidden EAB galleries [...] Read more.
The emerald ash borer (EAB) has been the most destructive and costly nonnative insect to threaten the health of ash (Fraxinus) species in North America for at least the past 25 years. The development of methods for detecting visually-hidden EAB galleries at early stages of infestation would provide a useful tool to more effectively facilitate the planning and implementation of targeted EAB pest-suppression and management activities. We tested the efficacy of using a dual-technology electronic-nose (e-nose)/gas chromatograph device as a means for detection of EAB infestations in green ash trees in different EAB-decline classes by analysis of VOC emissions in sapwood. We found significant differences in VOC profiles for trees from the four decline classes. The VOC composition, quantities, and types of volatile metabolites present in headspace volatiles varied considerably across sample types, and resulted in distinct e-nose smellprint patterns that were characteristic of each unique chemical composition. In addition, specific VOC metabolites were identified as potential healthy and EAB-infestation biomarkers, indicative of the health states of individual trees. Few significant differences in major bark phenolic compounds were found between ash decline classes using LC-MS. The e-nose was effective in discriminating between uninfested and EAB-infested trees based on sapwood VOC emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noninvasive Early Disease Diagnosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Faecal Scent as a Novel Non-Invasive Biomarker to Discriminate between Coeliac Disease and Refractory Coeliac Disease: A Proof of Principle Study
Biosensors 2019, 9(2), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9020069 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Currently, the gold standard for diagnosis of coeliac disease (CD) is based on serology and gastroduodenoscopy with histology of duodenal mucosal biopsies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of faecal volatile organic compounds (VOCs) analysis as a novel, non-invasive [...] Read more.
Currently, the gold standard for diagnosis of coeliac disease (CD) is based on serology and gastroduodenoscopy with histology of duodenal mucosal biopsies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of faecal volatile organic compounds (VOCs) analysis as a novel, non-invasive tool to discriminate between CD in remission in patients on a gluten-free diet (GFD), refractory coeliac disease (RCD) and controls without CD. Patients with an established diagnosis of CD on a GFD, RCD and healthy controls (HC) were instructed to collect a faecal sample. All subjects completed questionnaires on clinical symptoms, lifestyle and dietary information. Faecal VOCs were measured using gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry. A total of 13 CD, 7 RCD and 10 HC were included. A significant difference in VOC profiles between CD and RCD patients (area under the curve (AUC) ± 95% CI: 0.91 (0.79–1) p = 0.000) and between CD and HC (AUC ± 95% CI: 0.71 (0.51–0.91) p = 0.0254) was observed. We found no significant differences between faecal VOC patterns of HC and RCD. Based on faecal VOCs, CD could be discriminated from RCD and HC. This implies that faecal VOC analysis may hold potential as a novel non-invasive biomarker for RCD. Future studies should encompass a larger cohort to further investigate and validate this prior to application in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noninvasive Early Disease Diagnosis)
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Open AccessArticle
Breath Analysis Using eNose and Ion Mobility Technology to Diagnose Inflammatory Bowel Disease—A Pilot Study
Biosensors 2019, 9(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/bios9020055 - 12 Apr 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
Early diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), remains a clinical challenge with current tests being invasive and costly. The analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath and biomarkers in stool (faecal calprotectin (FCP)) [...] Read more.
Early diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), remains a clinical challenge with current tests being invasive and costly. The analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath and biomarkers in stool (faecal calprotectin (FCP)) show increasing potential as non-invasive diagnostic tools. The aim of this pilot study is to evaluate the efficacy of breath analysis and determine if FCP can be used as an additional non-invasive parameter to supplement breath results, for the diagnosis of IBD. Thirty-nine subjects were recruited (14 CD, 16 UC, 9 controls). Breath samples were analysed using an in-house built electronic nose (Wolf eNose) and commercial gas chromatograph–ion mobility spectrometer (G.A.S. BreathSpec GC-IMS). Both technologies could consistently separate IBD and controls [AUC ± 95%, sensitivity, specificity], eNose: [0.81, 0.67, 0.89]; GC-IMS: [0.93, 0.87, 0.89]. Furthermore, we could separate CD from UC, eNose: [0.88, 0.71, 0.88]; GC-IMS: [0.71, 0.86, 0.62]. Including FCP did not improve distinction between CD vs. UC; eNose: [0.74, 1.00, 0.56], but rather, improved separation of CD vs. controls and UC vs. controls; eNose: [0.77, 0.55, 1.00] and [0.72, 0.89, 0.67] without FCP, [0.81, 0.73, 0.78] and [0.90, 1.00, 0.78] with FCP, respectively. These results confirm the utility of breath analysis to distinguish between IBD-related diagnostic groups. FCP does not add significant diagnostic value to breath analysis within this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noninvasive Early Disease Diagnosis)
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