Frequently Asked Questions

About Owlstone Medical

  • How can I contact Owlstone Medical or find out more about Breath Biopsy®?

Please submit your requests and questions to us via the webform here:

  • Who do I contact if I have issues with Owlstone Medical products?

If you are an existing customer looking for support with our products, you can tell us about your issue though the support portal.

  • Can I get a job with Owlstone Medical?

Find out more about roles we currently have available and how to apply to them on our careers pages.

  • How can I volunteer for a clinical trial?

We are not directly involved in recruiting for many Breath Biopsy studies, as this is typically done by our partners and customers through relevant clinical research sites. We have a small number of opportunities to volunteer in one of our trials. For these, you will typically need to be based near our head office in Cambridge, UK. Look out for our requests by following us on social media or email

  • How do I invest in Owlstone Medical?

As a private company, investment opportunities in Owlstone Medical are limited and we are at the stage in our growth where we primarily seek funding from larger funds. If you would like to learn more about the business and future potential investment opportunities, please contact us and we will get back to you. You will be required to seek an independent financial and/or legal advice should you consider investing in Owlstone Medical.

  • Can I become a distributor for Owlstone Medical products?

We are not currently seeking regional distributors.

About Breath Biopsy

  • What is Breath Biopsy?

Breath Biopsy is concerned with testing and detecting substances in human breath that have relevance to health and disease and could be potentially used for applications such as early detection and precision medicine.

We are developing our Breath Biopsy technologies to provide optimized solutions for the collection and analysis of human breath, supporting research to discover and develop high-quality breath biomarkers

  • What is Breath Biopsy for?

Breath Biopsy includes products and services for the collection and analysis of volatile organic compounds on breath. It is available for a wide range of research applications.

  • What are Breath Biopsy products and services?

Our Breath Biopsy products are available to academic and industry researchers and are only for research uses such as clinical trials. The Breath Biopsy Collection Station enables breath sample collection in various academic and clinical research settings. The Collection Station includes the ReCIVA Breath Sampler, and CASPER™ Portable Air Supply.

Through Breath Biopsy Services we provide robust, reproducible breath sample analysis using GC-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry, which can also be used to analyze in vitro samples. We can also support you to analyze your own samples through in-house methods.

Additionally, we have SiHuB that can be used for the calibration of breath sensor devices and analytical tools.

  • What does Breath Biopsy detect?

Breath Biopsy provides solutions for collecting and analyzing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from exhaled breath as part of research studies only. We can support studies investigating in vitro VOC samples as well as collected breath. We provide in-house analysis services or support for you to do your own analysis.

Currently our standard product range only collects and detects VOCs and not other potential biomarkers such as proteins and other biological macromolecules, or pathogens. However, we are interested in collaborating to develop applications in these areas, particularly through the collection of exhaled breath aerosols (EBA).

  • Can I get Breath Biopsy in my location?

Breath Biopsy is available globally for research uses only. Contact us directly to discuss your needs and arrange a quote.

  • Can you analyze breath condensate?

No. Breath Biopsy collects volatile organic compounds (VOCs) direct from exhaled breath without the need for condensation. We are also working on exhaled breath aerosols (EBA).

  • Which VOCs can Breath Biopsy detect?

Human breath is thought to contain as many as 1,000 different VOCs. Our platform is optimized to consistently detect as many of these as possible and we are constantly making improvements to enhance our capabilities. If you are interested in detecting specific VOCs in human breath, contact our team to find out more.

  • What ratings/certifications does Breath Biopsy have?

The Breath Biopsy Laboratory is audited to ISO9001 standards and is a biosafety level (BSL) 2 facility.

ReCIVA® Breath Sampler is a CE marked product.

Breath Biopsy is permitted for research uses only. Our products are not approved for use as medical devices.

Other Owlstone Medical Products

  • What is FAIMS?

FAIMS, which stands for Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectroscopy, is a technology for separating and detecting chemical compounds from complex mixtures like breath. The core FAIMS chip is small, and easily portable. The technology is ideal for affordable, high-sensitivity chemical detection in a range of contexts.

Visit Owlstone Inc. to find out about non-medical applications for FAIMS.

  • Can you help calibrate breath sensor technologies?

Yes, take a look at our SiHuB system, which generates high-accuracy gaseous compound mixtures without the need for large and expensive gas cylinders.

Breath Biopsy for Research

  • Can I incorporate Breath Biopsy into my research?

Breath Biopsy is suitable for integration into a range of studies across many disease areas. Often breath collection can be integrated alongside other sampling approaches. Our analysis pipelines allow for both untargeted and focused approaches and we offer comprehensive support through all stages from study design to result interpretation.

Get in touch to talk to our experts.

  • What diseases can Breath Biopsy detect?

Whilst still at the research and development stage, there is evidence to support the use of Breath Biopsy in a wide range of contexts. Biomarkers on breath may reflect metabolic processes throughout the body, meaning breath samples can be used to detect diseases and dysfunction in almost any part of the body. Our current focus areas include respiratory diseases, liver diseases, cancer and digestive health. Other applications include infections and inflammatory diseases, neurological conditions and metabolic disorders. We are also involved in projects looking at the impact of environmental exposures.

If you’re interested in investigating non-invasive biomarkers for any application, contact us to discuss whether Breath Biopsy could help.

  • How does breath collection with Breath Biopsy work?

The Breath Biopsy Collection Station allows reliable collection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from breath. CASPER® Portable Air Supply, removes most background VOCs from inhaled air, and ReCIVA® Breath Sampler then collects the VOCs from exhaled air. Each collection requires a single-use Breath Biopsy Kit, which includes the Breath Biopsy Cartridge that the sample is collected into.

For full details watch our instructional video.

  • How long does Breath Biopsy sample collection take?

Sampling time may vary between patients, particularly those with reduced lung capacity, and depending on the needs of your study. Our typical sample collection method takes an average of 13-15 minutes.

  • Where can Breath Biopsy samples be collected?

Breath sample collection is currently designed to be a supervised process performed within a clinical environment.

  • Can I collect different breath fractions using Breath Biopsy?

Sensor feedback in ReCIVA Breath Sampler can be used to control when the device captures VOCs. This means the system is capable of collecting specific breath fractions. Since ReCIVA includes two parallel collection pumps, it is even able to collect two separate breath fractions simultaneously, in certain studies.

ReCIVA is user configurable to meet the needs of your study and to enable collection of specific breath fractions or a whole breath sample. An appropriate configuration is setup in advance if your project makes use of Breath Biopsy Services to ensure consistency of data collection throughout the study.

  • Can Breath Biopsy be used in pediatrics?

Yes, Breath Biopsy is suitable for use with children. Some adaptation may be needed for younger ages. Breath sample collection with Breath Biopsy has been shown to be well tolerated in both adults and children.

  • How can I place an order or find out about pricing?

Please contact us via our web form and our expert team will be in touch.

  • What pricing options are available for the Breath Biopsy Collection Station?

Depending on your research needs and budget you can choose to either buy Breath Biopsy Collection Stations or lease them for the duration of your study. Contact us to discuss costs and pricing options.

Breath Biopsy for Patients

  • Can I get a breath test?

Breath Biopsy is available for research purposes only and cannot be used to help diagnose or treat diseases.

If you have persistent symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort, you’re in the UK and you have been referred to a specialist, then the specialist may be able to arrange for you to have a breath test if it’s appropriate for your symptoms. We provide these in partnership with Functional Gut Diagnostics.

  • When will Breath Biopsy be available to consumers?

We provide Breath Biopsy testing for certain digestive disorders, if you have a specialist referral.

Currently we have no set date when other Breath Biopsy tests will be available for clinical use or self-testing. All other Breath Biopsy products are available for research use only.

Disease Specialisms

  • How can I find out more about Breath Biopsy for respiratory diseases?

Our resources are summarized here:

  • How easy is it to collect samples from patients with breathing difficulties?

Although breathing difficulties can make breath collection more complicated, it is possible in many cases but you should discuss this with us as part of your study design. Breath Biopsy sample collection is done during regular tidal breathing so requires no specialized maneuvers. If this is a significant concern for your research, contact us to discuss in more detail.

A 2020 study of patients with shortness of breath found that ReCIVA was well tolerated by patients as a breath collection device.

  • How can I find out more about Breath Biopsy for cardiometabolic diseases?

Our resources are summarized here:

  • How can I find out more about Breath Biopsy for cancer?

Our resources are summarized here:

  • How can I find out more about Breath Biopsy for gastrointestinal diseases?

Our resources are summarized here:

  • How can I find out more about Breath Biopsy for other diseases not mentioned above?

Breath Biopsy is suitable for a wide range of research applications. Contact us to discuss your research area and find out whether Breath Biopsy could help.


  • Is Breath Biopsy safe for use in the context of COVID-19?

We have revised our collection methods in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find our current guidance on collecting Breath Biopsy samples using the ReCIVA Breath Sampler here.

  • Is breath collection with ReCIVA an aerosol generating procedure?

No. Click here for our current guidance on breath collection:

The Breath Biopsy Conference

  • How can I find out about the Breath Biopsy Conference?

For the most current information click here:

Presentations from past Breath Biopsy Conferences are available to view for free in the resources section.

Talk to us about your biomarker research and how Breath Biopsy could help.