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Bioanalysis. 2013 Sep;5(18):2287-306. doi: 10.4155/bio.13.183.

Detection of volatile organic compounds as biomarkers in breath analysis by different analytical techniques.

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Department of Environmental Chemistry & Bioanalytics, Faculty of Chemistry, Nicolaus Copernicus University, 7 Gagarin St, 87-100 Torun, Poland.


Breath is a rich mixture containing numerous volatile organic compounds at trace amounts (ppbv-pptv level) such as: hydrocarbons, alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, esters or heterocycles. The presence of some of them depends on health status. Therefore, breath analysis might be useful for clinical diagnostics, therapy monitoring and control of metabolic or biochemical cell cycle products. This Review presents an update on the latest developments in breath analysis applied to diagnosing different diseases with the help of high-quality equipment. Efforts were made to fully and accurately describe traditional and modern techniques used to determine the components of breath. The techniques were compared in terms of design, function and also detection limit of different volatile organic compounds. GC with different detectors, MS, optical sensor and laser spectroscopic detection techniques are also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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