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Breathe Free: Open Source Development of a Breath Sampler by a Consortium of Breath Researchers
PDPI Lampung & Bengkulu, 08 Jul 2019 18:54:34


Background: There is emerging evidence for the use of exhaled volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in pulmonary disease. A major challenge in the field of breath metabolomics is lack of standardised capturing of breath VOCs (ERS taskforce). Hardware differences between groups prevent pooling of data and adequate comparison between analytical techniques.

Methods: The Breathe Free Consortium (www.breathe-free.org) aims to solve this by combining the expertise of over 70 breath researchers with that of engineers and industrial designers in an open source development platform for a breath sampler.

Results: Forum discussions resulted in a design that is flexible to match the requirements for a wide range of conditions. The current functional prototype allows sampling of nasal, oral, bronchial, alveolar and mixed breath through pressure and CO2 gating. Fig 1. displays functioning of the device during 5 breath cycles: the blue line indicating CO2%, red indicating exhalation/inhalation pressure and the green line indicating pump activity (pressure gated).

Conclusion: The Consortium will be able to present the fully functional Breathe Free Sampler at the ERS in September. This can set a widely accepted standard for breath sampling that is freely available. The resulting pooling of datasets and comparison of different analytical techniques will strongly facilitate the integration of breath analysis into clinical practice.

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