Breath Biopsy® - VOC Biomarkers on Breath
A non-invasive way to measure chemicals in breath, for disease detection, exposure monitoring, and drug metabolism
Breath Biopsy provides an entirely new way to measure the chemical makeup of breath. By determining the chemical compounds present, we can
- look for biomarkers of disease.
- measure exposure to hazardous substances.
- monitor how drugs are being processed within the body.
Unlike liquid and tissue biopsies, which require blood or tissue samples to be taken, Breath Biopsy provides a completely pain-free method of testing.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gaseous molecules that can be sampled quickly and non-invasively from breath. They are produced as the end product of metabolic processes within the body, meaning that underlying changes in metabolic activity associated with disease can produce particular patterns of VOCs characteristic of specific diseases. Disease has an immediate effect on an organism’s metabolism. This alters the pattern of volatile metabolites exhaled in a patient's breath, making Breath Biopsy® a key tool for earlier disease diagnosis.
Volatile organic compounds are produced throughout the body, and are picked up and distributed in the bloodstream. In your lungs, gases are exchanged between circulating blood and inhaled air. Alongside O2 and CO2, volatile metabolites also pass from the blood into the lungs extremely efficiently. These VOCs are exhaled and provide a source of useful biomarkers directly linked to the body's metabolism.
Breath Biopsy® non-invasively collects and measures VOC biomarkers from a patient's breath. As blood circulates throughout the body before returning to the lungs, the VOC biomarkers in breath provide a holistic snapshot of a person's metabolome. It takes roughly 1 minute for blood to flow around the entire circulatory system. By sampling breath for a minute or longer, even very low levels of systemic VOC biomarkers can be pre-concentrated, collected and analyzed.
Breath collection is carried out using our ReCIVA Breath Sampler, which ensures reliable, reproducible collection of VOCs. Subjects breathe a controlled supply of air, and samples of their exhaled breath are captured and stabilized on Breath Biopsy Cartridges, which can then be shipped for analysis with Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy analytical platform, using mass spectrometry or FAIMS to determine the VOC profile. Advanced data analytic techniques can then be applied in order to pinpoint the VOCs of interest.
VOCs originating from all parts of the body are captured in
For many diseases, the key determining factor in successful treatment and recovery is how early in its development the disease is identified. When identified at an early stage, before significant damage has been done to the body, treatment is much more likely to be effective. Changes in the concentrations of VOCs occur at the very earliest stages of
Precision medicine is concerned with getting the right treatment