New breath analysis workflow

A non-invasive approach for disease detection

Exhaled breath is more than just air, it contains over 1,000 volatile organic compounds (VOC) as well as microscopic aerosol particles that provide a rich source of biological information. Unlike blood and tissue sampling, breath offers a non-invasive and pain free way to monitor human biology and enable the critical early detection of disease and optimization of treatments through precision medicine. Thermo Fisher Scientific has partnered with Owlstone Medical to deliver a workflow that provides a non-invasive and pain-free solution to breath testing from reliable sampling to comprehensive results.

Compared to genomics and other -omics approaches, studying breath VOCs, so-called 'breathomics', reveals the current health status of cells, tissues and the microbiome. Breathomics goes beyond probability and predispositions, to reveal what is happening now. Many breath biomarkers are associated with metabolic or disease processes in the body. The ability to accurately collect and analyze them has applications in early detection, screening, prognosis and precision medicine including for patient stratification in therapy selection and treatment monitoring. 

For research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

By determining the chemical compounds present in exhaled volatile organic compounds, researchers can:

  • Identify biomarkers of disease
  • Detect diseases in their earliest stages
  • Monitor responses to drugs and other therapies
  • Assess exposure to hazardous substances

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Breath Biopsy analysis workflow

This unique workflow starts with Breath Biopsy™ Breath collection and pre-concentration is carried out using the ReCIVA™ Breath Sampler, which ensures reliable and reproducible sample collection. The ReCIVA™ is coupled with the CASPER™ Portable Air Supply which filters the air subjects inhale to reduce background VOCs from external sources. The VOCs from the exhaled breath are captured on Breath Biopsy cartridges, which are then analyzed using thermal desorption coupled to the Thermo Scientific Q Exactive GC Orbitrap GC-MS/MS system, to provide a high-resolution VOC profile of the sample. Data analysis using Thermo Scientific Compound Discoverer software pinpoints VOCs of interest or biomarkers and Thermo Scientific Chromeleon Chromatography Data System (CDS) software can be used for targeted qualitative or quantitative analysis of known compounds in more routine screening tests.

Breath biopsy analysis workflowBreath Biopsy workflow, from Breath Biopsy Collection Station (including ReCIVA Breath Sampler) through to analysis by Q Exactive GC Orbitrap GC-MS/MS System and data processing using Compound Discoverer software.

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White paper