Sub-parts per billion detection of trace volatile chemicals in human breath using Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry

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Selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS) allows the real time quantification of trace gases in air. Due to its tolerance of high humidity levels the technique is particularly suited to the chemical analysis of breath. The detection limit of SIFT-MS has previously reported to be approximately 5 - 10 PPBV which is insufficient for the measurement of some low abundance constituents of breath. Recent developments in the design of SIFT-MS instruments have increased the ion precursor count rates. It is, however, unclear as to how these advances will affect instrument sensitivity for breath analysis.

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