The device, which is slightly smaller than a shoebox, records the results of each breath test, allowing patients to bring a memory card or USB key to the clinic once a month and receive a printout of their results. Eventually, the researchers hope to reduce the size of their detection device to fit inside a cell phone. But for now, theyre satisfied that the technology works.
The doctor can see how often you took it and exactly what time. If it made the patient really sick or dizzy and they didnt take it, they can find out why, Melker said. Its not just a question of did I or didnt I take it, but when you took it or why you didnt take it.
The researchers developed the adherence monitor by incorporating minute amounts of an alcohol into a gel capsule. The additive, called 2-butanol, is one of many GRAS Generally Recognized as Safe compounds approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in foods.
We wanted (patients) to swallow a chemical and have it transform into something else thats easy to monitor, said Matthew Booth, Ph.D., an assistant professor of anesthesiology at the UF College of Medicine and an investigator in the study. When it hits the stomach lining and liver, an enzyme converts the alcohol to a gas that can be measured in the breath.
To determine how well the byproduct could be detected, six healthy volunteers swallowed empty pills in which the capsules contained trace amounts of 2-butanol. After five to 10 minutes, the scientists could measure the volatile byproduct in the volunteers breath using a small detector. The scientists say their device could also be used to monitor medication adherence in patients with other communicable diseases, such as tuberculosis.
It is encouraging that the biological and che
|Contact: Ann Griswold|
University of Florida