High levels of the molecule nitric oxide can alert doctors to inflammation in critical areas of the body such as the cardiovascular system.

In a short video, Gerard Wysocki, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Princeton, explains how his lab is developing a single system that measures levels of nitric oxide isotopes in breath, as well as nitrites and nitrates in blood and urine. Wysocki’s device uses a magnetic field and a high-frequency modulated laser to detect levels of nitric oxide isotopes as low as one part per billion in samples from patients. The measurement takes only one second. “The analyzer has to be very sensitive to look at such a minute amount of nitric oxide so quickly,” he said. “That is the main difficulty in measuring important reactive species such as nitric oxide.” http://bit.ly/WysockiVideo