New study shows FAIMS outperforms eNose and GC-MS at predicting loss of control in asthma

Published on: 4 Aug 2017, under FAIMS

Platform using Owlstone Medical’s Lonestar® FAIMS could distinguish patients suffering loss of control vs. baseline with 95% accuracy

Owlstone Medical’s field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometer (FAIMS), the Lonestar VOC Analyzer, has been shown in a recent study to outperform sensor array type eNoses and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) at predicting loss of control in patients with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma.

The study by Brinkman et al.1 published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy found that VOC (volatile organic compound) breath profiles measured with the FAIMS platform could be used to distinguish when patients were suffering loss of control vs. baseline with 95% accuracy. The technique could also be used to correctly classify between the loss of control and subsequent recovery with 86% accuracy.

The authors noted that FAIMS was able to distinguish between the baseline, loss of control and recovery more accurately than GC-MS (68 – 77% accuracy) and sensor-type eNoses also tested in the study.

Loss of control in asthma is caused by flaring up of inflammation in the small airways. The results from this study provide proof-of-principle evidence that VOCs related to airway inflammation in exhaled breath can be used to used to monitor asthma control.

Results of Asthma pilot study
Figure 1. Breath VOC profiles measured using FAIMS showed 95% correct classification for baseline vs. loss of control and 86% for loss of control vs. recovery1.


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  1. Brinkman et al., Exhaled breath profiles in the monitoring of loss of control and clinical recovery in asthma, Clin. Exp. Allergy, (2017),