The Column: Detecting Biomarkers in Breath using GC–MS

Published on: 29 Jul 2020, under Breath Biopsy

The latest issue of The Column published an article on ‘Detecting Biomarkers in Breath using GC-MS’ by our Chief Science Officer Max Allsworth.

We have recently enhanced the capablities of the Breath Biopsy® Platform by integrating high-resolution accurate mass (HRAM) mass spectrometry (MS) to expand our capabilities to detect, identify and quantify volatile biomarkers on breath. In this article, Max presents the advantages of using HRAM MS for breath biomarker analysis in combination with thermal desorption gas chromatography (TD-GC) for both qualitative and quantitative analysis.

The article also includes a proof-of-concept study testing breath samples for smoking-related markers to demonstrate reliable and sensitive analyte detection. The results show low- and high-concentration compounds detected in a single analysis, precise compound identification and illustrate how markers of smoking behaviour are identified.


The Breath Biopsy Platform is advancing breath analysis as a potential tool for early disease detection and precision medicine. The platform enables simultaneous analysis of both high-abundance volatile organic compounds and trace-level analytes within breath samples and can be deployed for both comprehensive biomarker discovery and targeted validation studies. We recently covered this topic in depth in a webinar at the ASMS virtual seminar series, available to watch on demand.

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