A newly-published Advance Article in "Analyst" looks at the ever increasing need to develop new tools to aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of human diseases.
Abstract: There is an ever increasing need to develop new tools to aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of human diseases. Such tools will ultimately reduce the cost of healthcare by identifying disease states more quickly and cheaply than current practices. One method showing promise is the analysis of gas-phase biomarkers from human breath, urine, sweat and stool that reflect bodily metabolism. Analysis of these volatiles by GC MS requires specialised infra-structure and staff, making it unsuitable for a clinical setting. Point of care sensor based technologies such as eNoses often suffer from stability and sensitivity issues. Field-Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry (FAIMS) has potential to fulfil this clinical need. In this paper we review the medical need, the technology, sampling methods and medical evidence thus far. We conclude with reflecting on future developmental steps necessary to bring the device into medical practice.