Projects and Research

Breath Explor is involved in a variety of projects in Sweden, the EU, and the US, in collaboration with individual researchers, universities, and government bodies. The Breath Explor device is used also for independent research, both for clinical and drugs-of-abuse purposes. Below, we have outlined a selection of completed or ongoing projects.

2018: Karolinska Institute

The Breath Explor device was evaluated by researchers at Karolinska Institute, and the evaluation was published in the Journal of Breath Research:
Seferaj et al. 2018. “Evaluation of a new simple collection device for sampling of microparticles in exhaled breath” Journal of Breath Research 12. Available at:

2019–present: NIST

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), US Government, is currently carrying out a study using Breath Explor. The collaboration started in 2019.

2020–present: Covid-19

During the first year of the pandemic, most projects and research were put on hold in favour of research focused on the Sars-Cov-2 virus, more commonly known as Covid-19. After an approved ethics application in 2020, certain Swedish researchers started collecting Breath Explor samples from consenting Covid-19 positive patients in intensive care units in the Stockholm and Uppsala areas. The sampling has been both quantitative and longitudinal. Having established that it is possible to detect Sars-Cov-2 in Breath Explor samples, the samples have been kept for further research in 2021 in collaboration with Uppsala University and Thermo Fisher Scientific Copenhagen, Karolinska Institute and Waters Instruments Sweden.

2021: Roadside drug testing and clinical surfactant research

In 2021, Prof emer. Jack Henion, Toxicology at Cornell University, the US, presented the possibility of conducting roadside drug testing with Breath Explor and an Advion mobile mass spectrometer. Henion highlights the simple chemical matrix in breath samples, which enables analysis with a mobile, compact mass spectrometer, as well as the fast and simple sampling and sample preparation with Breath Explor. Henion estimates the elapsed time from a driver leaving a sample to a result to 10 minutes or less. Breath Explor’s three individual collectors, Henion explains in his presentation, are ideal for the purpose, since one collector can be used for presumptive screening at the roadside, while the second can be used for back-to-lab confirmation, scanning for a wider range of substances, and the third for reference lab confirmation. To listen to Henion’s presentation, please click here.

A clinical study on adults who were born prematurely is currently being carried out in Sweden. Some prematurely born children are born before they have developed lung surfactant. These children are given synthetic surfactant at birth to survive, since it is impossible to live without it. Some such children, now adults, are participating in a study on their surfactant. Breath Explor, which collects surfactant by impaction, is used for sampling.

2022: Publication from the project STAD in Scientific Reports: breath sampling in a nightlife

This study was carried out among festival goers and nightlife attendees in Stockholm,
Sweden, to “[test] the feasibility of using a breath-sampling device to estimate the
prevalence of drug use among nightlife attendees,” as a potential tool to, among other
things, “evaluate preventive interventions” (Feltmann et al. 2022). The authors report that
breath samples were collected from 1204 participants. The collection device used was the
Breath Explor Sampling Device. The authors conclude that the study “demonstrates that
sampling exhaled breath is a feasible method to investigate illicit drug use among a large
number of nightlife participants in field conditions” and that

Breath tests can be a valuable tool to investigate substance use among a large
number of people in various settings, such as different nightlife settings or
roadside testing 33 , as well as a pre- and post-prevalence measurement to assess
the effects of preventive interventions (Feltmann et al. 2022).

The results of the analyses that were carried out on the samples from the study, together
with the self-assessment reports from the participants and reports from the sampling
procedure in the field can all be found in the open-access article (link below).

Feltmann et al. 2022. “Feasibility of using breath sampling of non-volatiles to estimate the
prevalence of illicit drug use among nightlife attendees.” Scientific Reports 12:20283.
Available at: (Open Access).

Scientific advisory board

Prof. Marie Allen, Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Medical Genetics and Genomics, Uppsala University, Sweden

Prof. Kjell Alving, Department of Respiratory Pharmacology, Uppsala University, Sweden, first to describe the clinical signal of exhaled NO in asthma, and cofounder of the company Aerocrine that introduced exhaled NO measurements in routine clinical use.

Prof emer. Olof Beck, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Prof emer. Jack Henion, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY USA, received a doctor honoris causa, (Honorary Doctorate) from Uppsala University in 2000 in recognition of his exemplary research in modern bioanalytical techniques employing liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry.