Detection of volatile organic compounds in breath using thermal desorption electrospray ionization-ion mobility-mass spectrometry
journal contributionposted on 09.10.2014 by Jim Reynolds, Gavin J. Blackburn, C. Guallar-Hoyas, Victor Moll, Victor Bocos-Bintintan, G. Kaur-Atwal, Mark D. Howdle, E.L. Harry, Lauren J. Brown, Colin Creaser, Paul Thomas
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A thermal desorption unit has been interfaced to an electrospray ionization-ion mobility-time-of-flight mass spectrometer. The interface was evaluated using a mixture of six model volatile organic compounds which showed detection limits of <1 ng sample loaded onto a thermal desorption tube packed with Tenax, equivalent to sampled concentrations of 4 μg L−1. Thermal desorption profiles were observed for all of the compounds, and ion mobility-mass spectrometry separations were used to resolve the probe compound responses from each other. The combination of temperature programmed thermal desorption and ion mobility improved the response of selected species against background ions. Analysis of breath samples resulted in the identification of breath metabolites, based on ion mobility and accurate mass measurement using siloxane peaks identified during the analysis as internal lockmasses.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support given to G. J. Blackburn, C. Guallar-Hoyas and E. L. Harry by AstraZeneca. G. J. Blackburn also gratefully acknowledges his BBSRC CASE studentship. M. D. Howdle acknowledges his EPSRC CASE studentship supported by GlaxoSmithKline. L. J. Brown acknowledges the support provided by Owlstone Ltd. V. H. Moll, V. Bocos- Bintintan were supported jointly by John Hoggs Technical Solutions Shell Global Solutions and the Technology Strategy Board.