Medical Science

Russian scientists have developed a new method for detecting Helicobacter pylori

ITMO has proposed an improved system for ultra-precise detection of gastrointestinal infections. The development is based on Raman spectroscopy.

Scientists at ITMO University (fine mechanics and optics. – Ed. ) have developed a system for detecting Helicobacter pylori, bacteria that cause serious diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, such as ulcers, gastritis, and cancer. Its principle of operation is similar to common breath tests that analyze the composition of the air exhaled by a person, but the accuracy is much higher, the press service of the university told MV.

Used to identify the cause of stomach disease, the traditional urease breath test allows you to determine the presence of Helicobacter pylori infection in the body by exhaling a person. But the composition of the exhaled air and the ratio of carbon dioxide 12 and 13 in it can vary depending on gender, age, habits and eating habits, which leads to the need for repeated studies. The system proposed by ITMO scientists is more sensitive and detects the presence of Helicobacter pylori in the body with an accuracy of up to 98%.


The gas analyzer consists of a laser, a cuvette, a radiation detector, as well as cooling systems and a power supply. The development is based on Raman spectroscopy (Raman spectroscopy. – Approx. ed. ). The researchers took 7,000 measurements to test the system.

Its principle of operation was described by the main author of the project, the head of the Research Laboratory for Spectroscopy of Biological Objects at ITMO Evgeny Popov. The patient first exhales a basic sample, then, after taking a special drug with a high content of the 13C isotope, the second one. If there is more 13C in the second sample, the system will record deviations in the light wave, with a high probability indicating the presence of Helicobacter pylori in the patient’s stomach.

Vladimir Vitkin, head of ITMO Laboratory for Optoelectronic Support of Cyber-Physical Systems , noted that most of the devices used by Russian laboratories for non-invasive diagnostics of gastrointestinal diseases are foreign-made. The proposed technology is based on domestic components, the intuitive software interface suggests the procedure for taking measurements, which practically eliminates the influence of the human factor and simplifies the work of the laboratory assistant.

Researchers are preparing to conduct preclinical and clinical studies of the system based on medical centers and laboratories. According to scientists, in the future the technology can be adapted to diagnose other diseases, such as diabetes, lung cancer, asthma and tuberculosis.

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