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Multicomponent Breath Analysis With Infrared Absorption Using Room-Temperature Quantum Cascade Lasers

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5 Author(s)

Breath analysis is a powerful noninvasive technique for the diagnosis and monitoring of respiratory diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO) are markers of airway inflammation and can indicate the extent of respiratory diseases. We have developed a compact fast response laser system for analysis of multiple gases by infrared absorption. The instrument uses room temperature quantum cascade lasers to simultaneously measure NO, CO, carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) in exhaled breath. Four breath flow rates are employed to explore their exchange dynamics in the lungs and airways. We obtain 1-s detection precisions of 0.5-0.8 parts-per-billion (ppb) for NO, CO, and N2O with an instrument response time of less than 1 s. The breath analysis system has been demonstrated in a preliminary study of volunteers. It is currently deployed in a trial clinical study.

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IEEE Sensors Journal  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 1 )