Rising Number of Breath Research Publications

Published on: 29 Mar 2019, under Cancer

This blog was initially published in March 2018. We aim to update the content on a regular basis. The last update was on 30th April 2024.

Breath analysis, as a field of research, has been around for quite some time. In fact, modern breath testing dates back to 1971, beginning with the groundbreaking work of Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling. However, recent years have seen a significant uptick in the number of publications related to breath analysis, thanks in part to the development of new technologies.

A search for the number of breath volatile organic compound (VOC) analysis publications per year on the Pubmed database visualizes this trend, as shown in Figure 1. There was a notable surge in the number of breath analysis publications in 2021, especially in the context of clinical trials focusing on infectious diseases such as COVID-19. The huge uplift was followed by a slight decrease in the number of publications in 2022. However, it is anticipated that this trend will pick up again in the coming years, given the potential of breath analysis as a non-invasive diagnostic tool in infectious diseases and other medical fields. Between April 2023 and 2024, there have been 334 breath publications. But it’s not just the volume of research that’s increasing – it’s also the range of applications. Breath analysis was once largely limited to a few key areas, such as the Helicobacter pylori breath test using 13C Urea. Now, the use of breath analysis has expanded into broader areas including the development of diagnostic tools and monitoring of cancer, respiratory diseases, liver diseases, as well as the microbiome.

Graph of breath VOC publications over time

Figure 1. Search made on www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed using the following search criteria ((((Breath Analysis[Text Word]) OR Breath Research[Text Word]) OR Breath Biopsy[Text Word]) OR Breath Test[Text Word]) with the date sequenced from April 1970 to April 30th 2024.

Owlstone Medical is at the forefront of this research. Our Breath Biopsy® Platform has revolutionized the way in which breath can be utilized in clinical research. By improving the collection, storage, and analysis of breath samples, the Breath Biopsy technology has enabled breath analysis to be included in large-scale clinical trials. This is a game-changer for quantifying biomarkers of processes within the body, as breath analysis has the benefit of being completely non-invasive, making it more patient-friendly than other tests.

Breath is a valuable source of potential biomarkers for a wide range of diseases, and the non-invasive nature of breath analysis opens the door to many other potential applications. With more and more research being done in this area, the potential uses of breath analysis are constantly expanding. The desire for a non-invasive test to improve patient experience is one of the driving forces behind the expansion of new application areas for breath research. By enabling earlier and more precise detection of diseases and health conditions, breath analysis can lead to more effective treatments and better outcomes for patients.

In conclusion, breath analysis is a rapidly developing field with significant potential for revolutionizing patient monitoring, and disease diagnosis. With continued advances in technology and research, breath analysis is poised to become an increasingly important tool in the fight against disease.

Breath Biopsy®

If you want to learn more about how Owlstone Medical’s Breath Sampling and Analysis technology and Services are being utilized in early detection and precision medicine, why not download our Breath Biopsy Guide? The fourth edition is free to download.

Breath Biopsy: The Complete Guide, your introduction to breath biomarkers