OL.1 - Applications of Soft Chemical Ionisation Mass Spectrometric Instrumentation to Investigate the Human Volatilome for use in the Medical Sciences

17th International Meeting on Chemical Sensors - IMCS 2018
2018-07-15 - 2018-07-19
Vienna, Austria
C. Mayhew, V. Ruzsanyi, P. Mochalski, H. Wiesenhofer, K. Unterkofler, C. Ager - Institute for Breath Research, Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck, Dornbirn (Austria)
194 - 195


Soft chemical ionization mass spectrometric techniques, which include proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry and ion mobility spectrometry, employ ions as sensitive analytical probes for use in the identification, detection and monitoring of trace compounds in complex chemical surroundings. These techniques have opened up new and exciting possibilities for applied areas of research with applications to health, food science, the environment and security. Among these is the potential to use the trace volatiles in human breath, emitted from the skin and present in bodily fluids for diagnosing and monitoring diseases, monitoring treatments and examining health in general. This is possible because these volatiles provide a non-invasive window to physiological and metabolic processes occurring within the body. The research being undertaken at the Institute for Breath Research in Dornbirn, Austria is addressing the many current challenges of applying soft chemical ionization mass spectrometry for the analysis of the human volatilome for the benefit of clinical non-invasive diagnostic procedures; including sampling protocols and importantly the assignment of compounds with a high specificity. The unambiguous identification of volatile compounds is needed to provide the necessary information for the development of sensors for the detection of specific compounds for a given clinical application. Although the main focus of this paper will be on our breath analysis research in the health sciences, details of related projects in homeland security and search and rescue operations, namely those involved in discovering humans trapped in buildings or hiding in containers through the volatiles that people emit, are presented.