This article has been reviewed according to Science X's editorial process and policies. Editors have highlighted the following attributes while ensuring the content's credibility:


peer-reviewed publication

trusted source


Researchers develop novel technology to quantify protein critical to blood clot formation through breath gas analysis

blood clot
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Immunothrombosis, or the formation of microscopic blood clots during inflammation, is a major cause of morbidity among patients with sepsis or severe COVID-19. A key enzyme in this process is thrombin. To date, no method exists for early detection of immunothrombosis in a living organism.

A team of investigators led by Ali Hafezi-Moghadam, MD, Ph.D., director of the Molecular Biomarkers Nano-Imaging Laboratory (MBNI) at Brigham and Women's Hospital, a founding member of Mass General Brigham health care system, and an associate professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School, developed a novel technology to diagnose immunothrombosis by measuring thrombin activity through breath gas. The findings are published in the journal Advanced Materials.

The researchers generated hyperbranched polymeric nanoprobes, containing thrombin-sensitive regions bound to reporter molecules that would become gaseous upon liberation. Thrombin in microvessels of animals with immunothrombosis liberated the volatile reporter that was then exhaled through the lungs.

Gas biopsies, or samples from the , were analyzed in gas chromatography mass spectrometry to deduce the intravascular activity. These results lay groundwork for clinical translation.

"Early diagnosis of immunothrombosis and intervention could prevent organ failure in patients with sepsis or severe COVID-19," said Hafezi-Moghadam. "Our technology provides unprecedented knowledge of key enzymatic activity anywhere in the body. Such real-time measurement has the potential to improve personalized and precision treatments and save lives."

More information: Yuanlin Zhang et al, Breath Biopsy Reveals Systemic Immunothrombosis and Its Resolution Through Bioorthogonal Dendritic Nanoprobes, Advanced Materials (2023). DOI: 10.1002/adma.202304903

Journal information: Advanced Materials
Citation: Researchers develop novel technology to quantify protein critical to blood clot formation through breath gas analysis (2023, August 10) retrieved 28 May 2024 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Researchers develop novel biodegradable nanoprobe to detect diabetic retinopathy in its early stages


Feedback to editors