Michael J. Wilde a , Rebecca L. Cordell a , Dahlia Salman b , Bo Zhao c , Wadah Ibrahim c , d , Luke Bryant a , Dorota Ruszkiewicz b , Amisha Singapuri c , d , Robert C. Free c , Erol A. Gaillard e , Caroline Beardsmore e , C.L. Paul Thomas b , Chris E. Brightling c , d , Salman Siddiqui c , d , Paul S. Monks a , *
07 June 2019
Precision medicine has spurred new innovations in molecular pathology leading to recent advances in the analysis of exhaled breath as a non-invasive diagnostic tool. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) detected in exhaled breath have the potential to reveal a wealth of chemical and metabolomic information. This study describes the development of a method for the analysis of breath, based on automated thermal desorption (TD) combined with flow modulated comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC×GC) with dual flame ionisation and quadrupole mass spectrometric detection (FID and qMS). The constrained optimisation and analytical protocol was designed to meet the practical demands of a large-scale multi-site clinical study, while maintaining analytical rigour to produce high fidelity data. The results demonstrate a comprehensive method optimisation for the collection and analysis of breath VOCs by GC×GC, integral to the standardisation and integration of breath analysis within large clinical studies.