There is an increasing number of papers in peer-reviewed medical journals relating to a need for widened usage of exhaled breath measurement, including waveform biomarker analysis for diagnosis/ management of respiratory disease conditions.  In particular published work has concentrated on the characteristics of these under-used biomarkers in respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, congestive heart failure, pulmonary embolism and emphysema. Relevant exhaled biomarkers such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and ammonia have unique mid infrared optical absorption features which can be used  to quantify such biomarkers. Measurement is typically based on absorption of infra-red light by the biomarker molecule using an emitter and detector pair matched to the principal gas absorption peaks. This presentation provides an overview of relevant research & development in mid-infrared photonics and application to next generation, low cost and portable breath analysis sensors with a focus on chronic respiratory conditions such as COPD with results from early stage clinical trialing.

Des Gibson: 

Des Gibson holds a BSc (hons 1st class) physics and a PhD in thin film optics, both from the Queen`s University, N Ireland.   He has a thirty year track record in industry, academic based research & development and successful physics based product commercialisation, gained globally with technical and managing director roles within blue chip organizations, small to medium sized companies, start-ups and close associations with academia. He has co-founded four  successful physics based technology companies focussing on thin film & sensor technologies. Two most recent are; Gas Sensing Solutions Ltd – co-founded 2006 and a winner of an Institute of Physics Innovation Award 2014 – and Applied Multilayers Ltd, co-founded 2002 and acquired 2010 by Telemark Inc, USA. Motivated by fresh challenges and a desire to focus on research, September 2014 he joined the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) as professor in thin film & sensor technologies and is research director of the Institute of Thin Films, Sensors & Imaging.

Des is a chartered engineer and physicist, Fellow of the Institute of Physics , senior member of the Optical Society of America  and  a named inventor on eighteen patents with over eighty technical publication and articles in thin films, sensors and optoelectronics. He is principal investigator of a new company spin out from UWS, researching and commercialising a novel miniaturised infrared spectrophotometer.