Real-time Breath Analysis by Using Secondary Nanoelectrospray Ionization coupled to High Resolution Mass Spectrometry
Xue Li, Dan D. Huang, Rui Du, Zhi J. Zhang, Chak K. Chan, Zheng X. Huang, Zhen Zhou
Exhaled volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have aroused considerable interest, since they can serve as biomarkers for disease diagnosis and environmental exposure in a non-invasive manner. In this work, we present a protocol to characterize the exhaled VOCs in real time by using secondary nanoelectrospray ionization coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry (Sec-nanoESI-HRMS).
The homemade Sec-nanoESI source was readily set up based on a commercial nanoESI source. Hundreds of peaks were observed in the background-subtracted mass spectra of exhaled breath, and the mass accuracy values are -4.0-13.5 ppm and -20.3-1.3 ppm in the positive and negative ion detection modes, espectively.
The peaks were assigned with accurate elemental composition according to the accurate mass and isotopic pattern. Less than 30s is used for one exhalation measurement, and it takes approximately 7 min for six replicated measurements.