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

Published on 04 Aug 17, under FAIMS, Lung & Respiratory, Science & Research

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.



In the STRATA (Stratification of Asthma Treatment by Breath Analysis) programme, Owlstone Medical seeks to replace the trial and error approach for asthma treatment selection, and use our Breath Biopsy® platform to stratify asthma patients and match them to the correct existing treatments first time. As a result, we will bring lasting benefit to patients, minimize costs for the NHS and make a positive impact on the annual toll of 54,000 asthma-related emergency hospital admissions and 1,167 asthma-related deaths.


Breath Biopsy®

If you want to learn more about how Owlstone Medical's Breath Sampling and Analysis technology is being utilized in precision medicine research why not check out our free ebook: Breath Biopsy: The Complete Guide?

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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),
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