Researchers from the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), India, and Next Dimension Technologies US, have developed a new hand-held breathalyser for detecting tuberculosis (TB) – the Electronic Nose.

Grand Challenges Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have awarded a two-year $950,000 grant to the research team to further develop and test a prototype of the hand-held, battery-powered device.

Lead researcher Ranjan Nanda said the first phase of the grant will be used for collecting biomarkers from TB patients from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

According to Nanda, the TB screening device can diagnose TB immediately and non-invasively from the patient’s breath, replacing time-consuming testing with sputum.

The team is planning to deliver a prototype device to hospitals by October 2013.