High mass resolution breath analysis using secondary electrospray ionization mass spectrometry assisted by an ion funnel

High mass resolution breath analysis using secondary electrospray ionization mass spectrometry assisted by an ion funnel

L. Meier, C. Berchtold, S. Schmid and R. Zenobi

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Abstract

In this study, we used secondary electrospray ionization mass spectrometry assisted by an ion funnel (IF) operating at ambient pressure to find compounds in the mass range of 100–500 m/z in online breath fingerprinting experiments. In low-resolution experiments conducted on an ion trap instrument, we found that pyridine is present in breath of individuals long after drinking coffee. In high-resolution experiments conducted on a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance, we found more than 30 compounds in the mass range of 100–500 m/z in analogous online breath experiments. More than a third of these compounds have molecular weights above 200 Daltons and have not been mentioned in previous studies. In low-resolution experiments as well as experiments without the IF, these compounds could not be detected.

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