Microfabricated differential mobility spectrometers for breath analysis

Shankar Sankaran, Weixiang Zhao, Bryan Loyola, Joshua Morgan, Mary Molina, Michael Schivo, Richie Rana, Nicholas Kenyon, Cristina E Davis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


We have demonstrated the use of a novel micromachined differential mobility spectrometer (DMS) to analyze human breath condensate samples for applications in disease diagnostics. This miniature device is small, portable, low power, and potentially fieldable as a point-ofcare clinical diagnostic instrument. To date, we have shown that our instrument system is capable of measuring a higher number of chemicals from breath condensate samples than traditional analytical instruments, such as gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS). We have also found that we can detect extremely low levels of specific chemicals of interest, such as acetone, down to the single digit parts-per-billion level. The device has also been used to characterize exhaled breath condensate (EBC) samples from individuals, and we have used machine learning algorithms to differentiate between persons based on the measured chemicals in their breath alone. The detection limits and analytical power are clinically relevant for many potential biomarkers, and suggests our device may have many applications for disease diagnostics in human breath analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of IEEE Sensors
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2007
Event6th IEEE Conference on SENSORS, IEEE SENSORS 2007 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Oct 28 2007Oct 31 2007


Other6th IEEE Conference on SENSORS, IEEE SENSORS 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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