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A comparison of spectroscopic techniques for human breath analysis


The analysis of human breath has been driven to new heights and has great potential to impact our society in the area of medical science. Breath analysis is promising as non-invasive, simple and point-of-care clinical measurements to reduce the medical burden caused by invasive, time-consuming and expensive clinical devices. Spectroscopic techniques for breath analysis can offer information to correlate its signals to exhaled substances for molecular identification and quantification to provide the pathophysiological status of the body. In this review paper, techniques such as mass spectrometry-based (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometry, selected ion flow tube-mass spectrometry), laser absorption spectroscopy-based (cavity ring down spectroscopy and tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy) and other spectroscopic techniques for breath analysis applications are compared in terms of its advantages/disadvantages, versatilities and plausibility to be transformed in clinical applications.