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Open AccessArticle

Hybrid Analytical Platform Based on Field-Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry, Infrared Sensing, and Luminescence-Based Oxygen Sensing for Exhaled Breath Analysis

Institute of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (IABC), Ulm University, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, 89081 Ulm, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(12), 2653; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19122653
Received: 14 May 2019 / Revised: 7 June 2019 / Accepted: 9 June 2019 / Published: 12 June 2019
The reliable online analysis of volatile compounds in exhaled breath remains a challenge, as a plethora of molecules occur in different concentration ranges (i.e., ppt to %) and need to be detected against an extremely complex background matrix. Although this complexity is commonly addressed by hyphenating a specific analytical technique with appropriate preconcentration and/or preseparation strategies prior to detection, we herein propose the combination of three different detector types based on truly orthogonal measurement principles as an alternative solution: Field-asymmetric ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS), Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy-based sensors utilizing substrate-integrated hollow waveguides (iHWG), and luminescence sensing (LS). By carefully aligning the experimental needs and measurement protocols of all three methods, they were successfully integrated into a single compact analytical platform suitable for online measurements. The analytical performance of this prototype system was tested via artificial breath samples containing nitrogen (N2), oxygen (O2), carbon dioxide (CO2), and acetone as a model volatile organic compound (VOC) commonly present in breath. All three target analytes could be detected within their respectively breath-relevant concentration range, i.e., CO2 and O2 at 3-5 % and at ~19.6 %, respectively, while acetone could be detected with LOQs as low as 165-405 ppt. Orthogonality of the three methods operating in concert was clearly proven, which is essential to cover a possibly wide range of detectable analytes. Finally, the remaining challenges toward the implementation of the developed hybrid FAIMS-FTIR-LS system for exhaled breath analysis for metabolic studies in small animal intensive care units are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: exhaled breath analysis; field-asymmetric ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS); Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR); luminescence sensing; infrared sensors; hyphenated techniques; hybrid techniques; acetone; carbon dioxide; oxygen exhaled breath analysis; field-asymmetric ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS); Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR); luminescence sensing; infrared sensors; hyphenated techniques; hybrid techniques; acetone; carbon dioxide; oxygen
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Hagemann, L.T.; Repp, S.; Mizaikoff, B. Hybrid Analytical Platform Based on Field-Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry, Infrared Sensing, and Luminescence-Based Oxygen Sensing for Exhaled Breath Analysis. Sensors 2019, 19, 2653.

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