We are recruiting co-creation partners to develop the “health management business using breath acetone measuring devices” as support for diabetes prevention and diet related companies.
The “acetone indicator” is an exhaled breath gas analyzer that uses a simple gas chromatograph.
If only you could easily visualize the status of your diet by measuring your exhaled breath. We think there are many people who are waiting for this kind of thing.
As the number of people with lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, or people with potential lifestyle-related diseases continues to increase year by year, the number of patients with diabetes has reached 10 million as of 2019 and the number of potential diabetics has reached 20 million according to the “National Health and Nutrition Survey” carried out by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and as of 2019, the national medical expenses for diabetes has increased to approximately 1.2 trillion yen and suppressing this has become a major issue.
Diets are recommended to prevent these lifestyle-related diseases, and at Murata Manufacturing, we are currently developing a small breath analyzer that can easily measure the acetone in exhaled breath. We are recruiting co-creation partners so that this breath acetone measuring device will be useful for product development by companies expanding their health management businesses such as diets.
Humans continue to send various information about their health condition from inside their body to the outside, but conventional measurement methods faced problems such as “taking too much effort”, “taking too much time”, “costing too much money” and “that the number of people who can carry it out is limited”. In these circumstances, a method to analyze the gas component contained in human exhalation (breath) is attracting attention as an easy measurement method.
Humans “replace gas” between the air inhaled into the lungs and the capillaries by breathing. Therefore, the exhaled breath contains a lot of gas dissolved in the blood, and that gas contains substances that are closely related to human ecological activities. In other words, by detecting gas from exhaled breath and measuring its components in detail, it is possible to monitor health conditions.
For example, acetone in exhaled breath that was mentioned at the beginning is a type of ketone body generated when burning fat, and is a substance that is detected in exhaled breath. By measuring the concentration of acetone in the exhaled breath and visualizing fat burning, it is possible to grasp the diet effects in real-time.
Also, diabetics have a higher concentration of acetone in their exhaled breath. Because the energy of sugar in their blood cannot be used efficiently, this is to break down body fat and enable ketone bodies to be used. When the blood ketone body concentration rises too much in diabetics, the blood can become acidic and cause ketosis, and appropriate guidance and management by a doctor is required when conducting diet therapy. There are essays that show that acetone correlates with blood ketone body concentration, and we believe that we can conduct research including statistical methods and help companies with product ideas and software content that provide safe and secure diet solutions.
The breath sensor is literally a device that measures human breathing (exhalation).
This breath measurement is less painful than a blood test by blood sampling, and it has the advantage of being cleaner and easier to perform than excrement tests such as urine and stool tests.
Because it is not a medical device, a medical judgment cannot be made, but it is attracting attention in the diet industry as a simple and accurate method to visualize the status of your diet.
This is a breath test that offers advantages in that it can easily take measurements, but until now, there have also been some challenges. For example, the gas chromatograph is a typical breath test device, but it requires highly skilled professionals who can make measurements using the device and professional utilities such as expensive analyzers and high-pressure argon gas, and the device is large, requires large maintenance costs and a lot of time high performance analysis and can only be handled by large institutions, so it could not be easily introduced at any company.
Also, the use of simple breath measuring devices using semiconductor sensors have spread in recent years, but there were many challenges such as not being able to make accurate measurements without imposing various dietary restrictions because it is difficult to completely separate gas and acetone generated from what you ingested during meals. For example, because there is no filter that can completely sort out interfering gases other than the target gas type, so there are disadvantages such as measuring data other than the desired target as noise and the sensor getting toxified and changing the measured values.
In order to solve these challenges, we at Murata Manufacturing are currently developing a breath analyzer that is compact, simple, and capable of precise gas measurement.
When using a semiconductor sensor to detect gas types, the sensor will not only react to acetone, but also to reducing gas (ethanol: alcohol/liquor) and its metabolites, acetaldehyde and hydrogen, and there were cases where the accuracy of the original acetone measurement deteriorates. Therefore, after drinking alcohol or eating oranges, or using toothpaste or sprays to prevent bad breath with conventional breath acetone measuring devices, there were cases where we were instructed to secure time until measurements.
With Murata Manufacturing’s “breath acetone measuring devices”, the contraindications during measurement can be reduced by separating and measuring these noisy gases, and the measurement accuracy can be improved. Breath measurement is required, but not enough to introduce a gas chromatograph. I don’t want to conduct various gas measurements, but rather measure specifically for acetone. I don't want to spend time measuring and I want to know the results quickly. I’m looking for an easy measurement method that is small and has few restrictions during measurement. This is the optimal breath analyzer for those who have such needs.
Gas separation measurement is possible in just five minutes.
Breath acetone can be used as a diet index.
Energy taken from food is metabolized in the order of carbohydrates (glucose), fat and protein, but during a diet, body fat needs to be broken down and metabolized.
The ketogenic diet is a diet that breaks down body fat and uses the synthesized ketone bodies for metabolism from the metabolism of energy, mainly glucose, by limiting carbohydrates. Ketone bodies are a generic term for β-hydroxybutyric acid, acetoacetic acid and acetone, but β-hydroxybutyric acid and acetoacetic acid can be used as energy, and acetone is excreted as exhaled breath and skin gas.
The ketogenic diet is a method to promote the breakdown of body fat and metabolize it, so the diet can go well by measuring and monitoring acetone, which is a type of ketone body, but for companies that provide dietary guidance, it is possible to confirm that the guidance is being given correctly and apply that in the guidance. If the ketogenic diet is proceeded stoically, some people get sick due to a sudden rise in acetone concentration. It is possible to confirm “whether you are overdoing it” with the “breath acetone measuring device”.
Preventing yourself from becoming overweight and dieting are recommended to prevent lifestyle-related diseases.
Because a low-carbohydrate diet suppresses sugar intake, it inevitably increases fat intake.
After fat is absorbed in the small intestine, it is β-oxidized, converted to acetyl-COA and metabolized in the citric acid cycle (used as energy). β-oxidization occurs actively, and when acetyl-CoA is overproduced, that excess acetyl-CoA is used to produce ketone bodies in the liver, and it will be available throughout the body through the bloodstream.
By monitoring the exhaled acetone concentration with a “breath acetone measuring device” so that it does not rise excessively and controlling meals, we think that it can be used an index for dietary restrictions for a safe diet. We believe that we can conduct research including statistical methods, and as a general device, we wish to collaborate with companies considering businesses that support a safe diet.
The research on the use of breath acetone in the areas of sports and anti-aging has just begun, but activating β-oxidation of mitochondria is expected to promote injury recovery and cell activation. Breath acetone measurement is attracting attention as a means to visualize and measure this state. As research progresses in the future, we believe that a new solution is possible by combining the technology of Murata Manufacturing and the knowledge of service providers in these areas.
Acetone measuring device developer column
Murata Manufacturing, New Business Development Department : Hideki Ishida
When I was 35 years old, I was diagnosed as having metabolic syndrome at my first metabolic syndrome examination, and for 20 years since then, I struggled to lose weight even after attending swimming school, tennis school and going to the gym. However, when I tried limited carbohydrates after seeing a family member lose weight suddenly, I succeeded in losing 10kg in two months, and the numerical values such as triglyceride, liver function, and blood sugar level all went back to normal values.
At that time, I used a foreign-made breath acetone measuring device for the purpose of maintaining motivation, and the measuring devices that I could get my hands on were either cheap but not very accurate, or highly accurate but large and expensive. Also there were many contraindications before measuring, and the measured values sometimes fluctuated significantly after ingesting alcohol or oranges, or after brushing my teeth, so I didn’t know what to do. So, I decided to provide high-precision, compact, and inexpensive measuring devices that can’t be found existing products by reducing the size of the device using Murata Manufacturing’s small and thin parts and building a system that can measure only acetone gas with good selectivity.
From my own successful experience, I was convinced that carbohydrate restrictions using breath acetone measuring devices could become a socially meaningful businesses that can contribute to significantly reducing national medical expenses and lead to a reduction in prediabetes as an effective means to escape from the metabolic syndrome that has become a social problem.
Let's think together about how to promote the health of Japanese people, suppress medical expenses and solve issues of your product that support these.
Murata Manufacturing is looking for research institutions, companies, and other organizations who are in the relentless pursuit of innovation and interested in turning ideas into unique solutions that could quite possibly shape the future of electronics and our global society.
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