Cigarette smoking and secondhand exposure to tobacco smoke cause an estimated average of 438,000 premature deaths each year in the United States. Nicotine, coadministered in tobacco products, is an addicting substance that causes individuals to continue use of tobacco despite concerted efforts to quit. Nicotine-metabolites monitoring is an important tool for monitoring smoker addictions and treatment. Current monitoring techniques utilize analytic equipment that is based in a clinical analytical laboratory making monitoring inconvenient and costly. There is currently no commercially-available monitoring system suitable for physician's office use. This proposed program will develop an advanced, rapid, and convenient home and physician office-based system which could make a significant impact in the health and well-being of those individuals being treated for smoking. The innovation in the proposed work is to develop an electrochemical sensor comprised of a novel high performance microelectrode utilizing a sensitive and selective electrochemical technique to measure nicotine-metabolites concentration in the clinical setting from urine samples. The development of the proposed electrochemical detection method is key to the demonstration of product feasibility and is the emphasis in Phase I. The hardware and software for the electrochemical technique are commercially available at a reasonable price for adaptation to this application. The final product will have the ease of use of an office monitor and provide the clinician with nicotine-metabolites measurements needed for optimal and cost-effective treatment of the patient. The Phase I project is designed to determine the feasibility of the proposed electrochemical method. Phase I will include: 1) optimization of an advanced material microsensor chip electrode;2) selection of electrolyte and solvent;3) development of a powerful electroanalytical algorithm for sensitive and selective detection of nicotine and it metabolites in urine analog solutions;4) testing of the developed technique;and 5) design of a Phase II integrated instrument.
The proposed project is to develop a portable, self-contained, easy-to-use, electrochemical monitor for simultaneous on-site measurement of nicotine and its major metabolites [cotinine (COT) and 3-hydroxycotinine (3HC)] from a single urine sample in near real time to assess personal exposure. The ability to accurately, conveniently, safely and cost-effectively measure nicotine, COT and 3HC in physician's offices with the results reported to the clinician would improve treatment and monitoring with lower cost. The test will be user-friendly for use in physician's offices to optimize and personalize smoking cessation programs that include nicotine replacement and buproprion pharmacotherapies. The monitor also has the potential to be sufficiently sensitive to detect exposure to second hand smoke for health monitoring and research studies.