The combination of ultra-sensitive assay techniques and recent improvements in the instrumentation used to collect microdroplets of lung fluid (MLF) from exhaled breath has enabled the development of non-invasive lung disease diagnostics that are based on MLF analysis. In one example of this approach, electrospun nylon filters were used to collect MLFs from patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. The filters were washed to obtain liquid probes, which were then tested for human immunoglobulin A (h-IgA) and fractions of h-IgA specific to ESAT-6 and Psts-1, two antigens secreted by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Probes collected for 10 min contained 100–1500 fg of h-IgA and, in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis, a portion of these h-IgA molecules showed specificity to the secreted antigens. Separate MLFs and their dry residues were successfully collected using an electrostatic collector and impactor developed especially for this purpose. Visualization of MLF dry residues by atomic force microscopy made it possible to estimate the lipid content in each MLF and revealed mucin molecules in some MLFs. This exciting new approach will likely make it possible to detect biomarkers in individual MLFs. MLFs emerging from an infection site (‘hot’ microdroplets) are expected to be enriched with infection biomarkers. This paper discusses possible experimental approaches to detecting biomarkers in single MLFs, as well as certain technological problems that need to be resolved in order to develop new non-invasive diagnostics based on analysing biomarkers in separate MLFs.