Human breath metabolomics using an optimized non-invasive exhaled breath condensate sampler

Konstantin O. Zamuruyev, Alexander A. Aksenov, Alberto Pasamontes, Joshua F. Brown, Dayna R. Pettit, Soraya Foutouhi, Bart C Weimer, Michael Schivo, Nicholas Kenyon, Jean Pierre Delplanque, Cristina E Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Exhaled breath condensate (EBC) analysis is a developing field with tremendous promise to advance personalized, non-invasive health diagnostics as new analytical instrumentation platforms and detection methods are developed. Multiple commercially-available and researcher-built experimental samplers are reported in the literature. However, there is very limited information available to determine an effective breath sampling approach, especially regarding the dependence of breath sample metabolomic content on the collection device design and sampling methodology. This lack of an optimal standard procedure results in a range of reported results that are sometimes contradictory. Here, we present a design of a portable human EBC sampler optimized for collection and preservation of the rich metabolomic content of breath. The performance of the engineered device is compared to two commercially available breath collection devices: the RTube and TurboDECCS. A number of design and performance parameters are considered, including: condenser temperature stability during sampling, collection efficiency, condenser material choice, and saliva contamination in the collected breath samples. The significance of the biological content of breath samples, collected with each device, is evaluated with a set of mass spectrometry methods and was the primary factor for evaluating device performance. The design includes an adjustable mass-size threshold for aerodynamic filtering of saliva droplets from the breath flow. Engineering an inexpensive device that allows efficient collection of metalomic-rich breath samples is intended to aid further advancement in the field of breath analysis for non-invasive health diagnostic. EBC sampling from human volunteers was performed under UC Davis IRB protocol 63701-3 (09/30/2014-07/07/2017).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number016001
JournalJournal of Breath Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • breath analysis
  • exhaled breath condensate (EBC)
  • metabolomics
  • non-volatile organic compounds (non-VOCs)
  • portable non-invasive health diagnostic
  • volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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