Here, you can read about the methods of analysis applied to Breath Explor samples. We perform both drug screening and confirmation with LC-MS/MS, maximising precision and sensitivity and minimising false negatives (an issue otherwise present with bioreagent screening). However, depending on the purpose and needs of the analysis, different methods can be used – read more below.

A simple matrix

Breath samples have a simpler chemical composition than many other biological fluids:

The analysis of aerosol particles in exhaled breath by LC/MS and related techniques is in a way easier than other biological samples such as blood, plasma, or urine because the chemical matrix of aerosol particles is much simpler than those other biological fluids. However, the levels of targeted compounds of interest are much lower in aerosol particles in breath than blood or urine, requiring highly sensitive and selective techniques which are fortunately available with modern LC/MS technologies

In other words, with sensitive enough equipment, the analysis of a breath sample is more straightforward than many other samples. This makes aerosol particles attractive for instant analysis (at roadsides, public events, or worksites) and quick and accurate lab analysis turnover.

A test panel to match customer needs

Tests have been conducted with the Breath Explor sampling device where a test panel of up to 50 substances have been used. Using larger test panels is possible, but usually, this is not necessary. With Breath Explor, it is possible to adjust the test panel according to the customer’s needs.

Examples of substances detected in breath include but are not limited to THC, cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, and MDMA. Please contact us for a complete list of the analytes currently used in analysis with LC-MS/MS.

LC-MS/MS and other protein analyses

Today, we use LC-MS/MS for both screening and confirmation of Breath Explor drug samples. The method is highly sensitive and minimises false negatives, allowing our partner laboratory to deliver quick and accurate results. For instant on-site results, LC/CMS could be used (please read more under Projects and Research).

For clinical and diagnostic purposes, other protein analyses such as PCR or ELISA can be performed. LC-MS/MS is also an option. Please read more about breath sampling for biomarkers here and using Breath Explor for clinical purposes here.

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