Laser spectroscopy for breath analysis: towards clinical implementation

Ben Henderson, Amir Khodabakhsh, Markus Metsälä, Irène Ventrillard, Florian M. Schmidt, Daniele Romanini, Grant A.D. Ritchie, Sacco te Lintel Hekkert, Raphaël Briot, Terence Risby, Nandor Marczin, Frans J.M. Harren, Simona M. Cristescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Detection and analysis of volatile compounds in exhaled breath represents an attractive tool for monitoring the metabolic status of a patient and disease diagnosis, since it is non-invasive and fast. Numerous studies have already demonstrated the benefit of breath analysis in clinical settings/applications and encouraged multidisciplinary research to reveal new insights regarding the origins, pathways, and pathophysiological roles of breath components. Many breath analysis methods are currently available to help explore these directions, ranging from mass spectrometry to laser-based spectroscopy and sensor arrays. This review presents an update of the current status of optical methods, using near and mid-infrared sources, for clinical breath gas analysis over the last decade and describes recent technological developments and their applications. The review includes: tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy, cavity ring-down spectroscopy, integrated cavity output spectroscopy, cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy, photoacoustic spectroscopy, quartz-enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy, and optical frequency comb spectroscopy. A SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) is presented that describes the laser-based techniques within the clinical framework of breath research and their appealing features for clinical use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number161
JournalApplied Physics B: Lasers and Optics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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