4.1 Breath Biopsy Exposure Research Kit

Monitor exposure-related VOCs in Breath using our Breath Biopsy Services

  • Collect reliable non-invasive exhaled breath samples for exposure research
  • Optional collection of environmental air and exhaled breath VOCs simultaneously
  • Send Breath Biopsy Cartridges to Owlstone Medical for targeted quantitative analysis of exposure-related VOCs
  • Standard data analysis and reporting
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Hazardous VOCs Exposure Increases Risk of Disease

Exposure Infographic v2
Figure 1. The Global Impact of Exposure to Hazardous Environments

The WHO ranks environmental exposures among the top risk factors for chronic disease mortality and a major risk factor of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer. It is therefore vital that the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which cause severe health effects are identified and their exposures controlled. In order to do this, it is necessary to understand exactly what an individual has been exposed to, and what VOCs are causing the health effects. Exposome research is expanding to bridge this gap.

VOCs can be absorbed through the lungs and skin and are often metabolized by the liver. VOCs interact and disrupt various process within an individual. Chronic exposure or exposure to hazardous levels of VOCs can result in permanent changes and development of NCDs such as cancer. Exposure to harmful VOCs and chemicals is often more important risk factor than genetics for the development of disease. As exposure to VOCs and other environmental factors are easily controlled, unlike genetics, limiting exposure is has the potential to prevent NCDs developing.

Hazardous VOCs and their metabolites can be measured on exhaled breath, providing an opportunity for non-invasive biomonitoring. Breath is an untapped, infinite, non-invasive sample modality which can be used to accurately measure the actual concentration an individual has been exposed to. Owlstone Medical’s ReCIVA Breath Sampler and Breath Biopsy Kits provide researchers with a reliable, consistent, portable device to collect breath samples anywhere at any time.

ReCIVA is a reliable and reproducible way to capture VOC biomarkers in breath samples

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Targeted Compounds

Common Hazardous Exposure VOCs

Owlstone Medical have developed the capability to quantify VOCs in breath commonly related to hazardous exposures using the Breath Biopsy platform. This includes VOCs from vehicle emissions, indoor air pollution and cleaning products, emissions from solid fuel fires, smoking, and occupational exposure.

Owlstone Medical’s analytical protocols guarantee repeatability and reproducibility across the full analytical process from breath collection, to transport and sample analysis. Advanced analytical capability also enables Owlstone Medical to discriminate between closely related compounds at very low concentrations.

Exposure Table v2
Table 1. Contains exposure related compounds that are part of Owlstone Medical's quantified library.
References for health effects and sources data: https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/ and https://echa.europa.eu/

The above VOCs are part of Owlstone Medical’s library of Quantified Breath Compounds. To enquire about specific VOCs of interest please contact us.

Contact us about your VOCs of interest

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Case Study

Targeted Analysis of Benzene

Benzene has been a known carcinogen for a number of years and causes serious health effects in populations all over the globe. The most common sources of exposure to benzene include smoking, vehicle emissions, solid fuel fires, and occupational exposure. Due to the widespread exposure and serious health effects resulting from exposure, it is an important VOC to monitor in order to reduce exposure and identify those at risk from the serious health effects. Exposure to benzene can be monitored directly after or during activities in which exposure may occur, or due to benzenes lipophilic nature, a long time after the original exposure.

Owlstone Medical ran a targeted analysis on exhaled breath samples collected from 136 people using the Breath Biopsy platform. From this analysis we measured concentrations of BTEX compounds (benzene, ethylbenzene, methylbenzene, and xylenes in breath.

Benzene in Breath
Figure 3. Output from Targeted Analysis of Benzene.

Owlstone Medical can quantify extremely low concentrations of VOCs in breath, for benzene this is down to the low parts per trillion. In addition to monitoring the concentration of VOC an individual has been exposed to, Owlstone Medical can also provide what the measured concentration is compared to normal population. This can be used in a number of different ways, for example from the lung cancer patient cohort, Owlstone Medical were able to separate out the individuals into three groups, non-smokers, ex-smokers, and current smokers.

The ability to measure common exposure-related VOCs in breath will allow exposome researchers, occupational health researchers, and breath researchers to bridge the gap between VOC exposure and the health impacts the exposure will cause. As the sampling is non-invasive and the ReCIVA Breath Sampler is portable, the Breath Biopsy Exposure Research Kit will allow researchers to collect breath samples anywhere at any time.

Breath Biopsy 3.0 Target VOC Services Example Report


Kit Contents

Exposure Research Kit includes:

  • One Breath Biopsy Cartridge
  • One disposable Breath Biopsy Mask
  • Encrypted USB drive
  • Return envelope
  • Targeted quantitative analysis of specified exposure-related VOCs of interest performed in Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy Laboratory using the Breath Biopsy platform
  • Standard data analysis and reporting

Find out more about Breath Biopsy Kit Contents

Breath Biopsy® Complete Guide - VOCs as Biomarkers for Disease


Get in touch with our team today for 4.1 Breath Biopsy Exposure Research Kit further information and pricing

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