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Proceedings Paper

IV-VI semiconductor lasers for gas phase biomarker detection
Author(s): Patrick McCann; Khosrow Namjou; Chad Roller; Gina McMillen; Pratyuma Kamat
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Paper Abstract

A promising absorption spectroscopy application for mid-IR lasers is exhaled breath analysis where sensitive, selective, and speedy measurement of small gas phase biomarker molecules can be used to diagnose disease and monitor therapies. Many molecules such as nitric oxide, ethane, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, carbonyl sulfide, and carbon disulfide have been connected to diseases or conditions such as asthma, oxidative stress, breast cancer, lung cancer, diabetes, organ transplant rejection, and schizophrenia. Measuring these and other, yet to be discovered, biomarker molecules in exhaled breath with mid-IR lasers offers great potential for improving health care since such tests are non-invasive, real-time, and do not require expensive consumables or chemical reagents. Motivated by these potential benefits, mid-IR laser spectrometers equipped with presently available cryogenically-cooled IV-VI lasers mounted in compact Stirling coolers have been developed for clinical research applications. This paper will begin with a description of the development of mid-IR laser instruments and their use in the largest known exhaled breath clinical study ever performed. It will then shift to a description of recent work on the development of new IV-VI semiconductor quantum well materials and laser fabrication methods that offer the promise of low power consumption (i.e. efficient) continuous wave emission at room temperature. Taken together, the demonstration of compelling clinical applications with large market opportunities and the clear identification of a viable pathway to develop low cost mid-IR laser instrumentation can create a renewed focus for future research and development efforts within the mid-IR materials and devices area.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 September 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6756, Chemical and Biological Sensors for Industrial and Environmental Monitoring III, 675603 (25 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.734167
Show Author Affiliations
Patrick McCann, Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)
Khosrow Namjou, Ekips Tech., Inc. (United States)
Chad Roller, Ekips Tech., Inc. (United States)
Gina McMillen, Ekips Tech., Inc. (United States)
Pratyuma Kamat, Ekips Tech., Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6756:
Chemical and Biological Sensors for Industrial and Environmental Monitoring III
Kenneth J. Ewing; James B. Gillespie; Pamela M. Chu; William J. Marinelli, Editor(s)

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