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IONICON PTR-TOF instruments deployed for COVID-19 detection in breath

By Jens Herbig and Lukas Märk

Advantages of breath gas analysis with IONICON PTR-TOFMS

Breath gas analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has progressed in recent years. Researchers are trying to detect volatile biomarkers in exhaled breath that are indicative for a disease or for the response to pharmacological treatments. Several hundred volatile compounds have so far been identified in exhaled breath and their range of concentrations, typically in the parts-per-billion range, are a challenge to most modern analyzers.IONICON PTR-TOF systems are particularly well suited for breath gas analysis: their detection limits are in the ppt range (1 ppt = 0.001 ppb) and the high mass resolving power allows to separate isobaric compounds. Moreover, in addition to offline analysis where breath is collected in a container and then analyzed,the high sensitivity and fast response time of these systems allows to  analyze  breath  directly  and  in  real-time.  This  provides  immediate  results  and  avoids  complications  often  arising  from sample collection and storage. With IONICON PTR-TOF analyzers, several hundred compounds can be measured simultaneously from a single exhalation.A critical add-on is our specialized breath sampling inlet (BET) which employs clinically certified, disposable, non-rebreathing mouthpieces to minimize the risk of contagion between patients.

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