Trace Gases in Exhaled Breath:

News & Press

September 24, 2007:
"Breath analysis offers potential for non-invasive blood sugar monitoring in diabetes"

January 22, 2007:
"Detecting disease by breath?"

Diagram of a hydrocarbon/CO breath sampling apparatus (MPSA 2008).

In cooperation with the UC Irvine Medical Center, the Rowland-Blake group has begun analysis of trace gases in exhaled breath. These studies are conducted to identify potential biomarkers for different medical conditions, which can in turn be used to determine a VOC “fingerprint” for a specific disease. In future, these unique trace gas signatures can be used for non-invasive diagnosis of patients.

Current Studies

Bacterial Infection Biomarkers: Laboratory study of gases given off by white blood cells infected with different bacterial strains.

Blood Gases: Analysis of gases dissolved in the blood of individuals under the influence of controlled substances.

Dialysis Patients: Analysis of exhaled gases in the breath of patients undergoing dialysis.

Metabolic Diseases: Identification of gases unique to persons with mitochondrial defects that cause metabolic diseases such as diabetes, hyperglycemia, obesity and hypertriglyeridemia.

Oxidative Stress: Study of gases associated with oxidative stress (particularly ethane and pentane) in the exhaled breath of elderly patients living in a highly polluted and oxidizing environment.

Pneumonia: Analysis of exhaled gases in the breath of patients believed to be suffering from pneumonia, for the identification of trace gas signatures specific to different bacterial and viral infections that can cause this condition.

Type I Diabetes: Examination of gases present in the exhaled breath of patients with Type I diabetes and identification of correlations between levels of these exhaled gases and biomarkers for glucose metabolism present in the blood.

Recent Publications:

Gorham, K. A., M. P. Sulbaek Andersen, S. Meinardi, R. J. Delfino, N. Staimer, T. Tjoa, F. S. Rowland, and D. R. Blake:
Ethane and n-Pentane in Exhaled Breath are Biomarkers of  Exposure not Effect,
Biomarkers, 2009, 14, 17.[download pdfs]

B. J. Novak, D. R. Blake, S. Meinardi, F. S. Rowland, A. Pontello, D. M. Cooper, and P. R. Galassetti:
Exhaled methyl nitrate as a noninvasive marker of hyperglycemia in type 1 diabetes
PNAS, 2007, 104, 15613. [download pdfs]


Dr. Ralph Delfino: Associate professor of environmental epidemiology, studies the effects of air pollutants on respiratory and cardiovascular health.
Dr. Pietro Galassetti: Assistant Professor at the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) at UC Irvine
Dr. Dan Cooper: Professor at the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) at UC Irvine.

[Research] :  [Atmospheric Research]   [Breath Analysis Research]   [Laboratory Analytical Capabilities]   [Group History]