Detecting Nonvolatile Compounds in Breath via Extractive Electrospray Ionization (EESI)

Breath Test – No-prep method analyzes nonvolatile components in breath. ‘Breath analysis usually measures just the volatile components of breath. Swiss scientists now show that mass spectrometry can be used to measure semivolatile and even nonvolatile compounds in breath. Such a method could be used for metabolic studies or diagnostic tests. Renato Zenobi and coworkers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, use an unmodified electrospray ionization source to deliver the breath straight into the mass spectrometer (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., DOI: 10.1002/anie.200602942). Instead of mixing the sample with solvent first, they use the electrospray source’s sheath-gas line—which usually assists in breaking up solvent droplets—to bring the breath to the charged solvent. The electrical charge is transferred directly from the solvent to the analytes in breath. The method, called extractive electrospray ionization (EESI), is a variant of desorption electrospray ionization (DESI).’

Tags: Breath Test

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