Taking your breath away: metabolomics breathes life in to personalized medicine

Nicholas Rattray, Zahra Hamrang, Drupad K Trivedi, Royston Goodacre, Stephen J Fowler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

128 Citations (Scopus)


Breath-based metabolomics (breathomics) is an exciting developing area of biotechnology that centers on the capture, identification, and quantification of volatile organic compound (VOC) patterns in human breath and their utilization as tools in the diagnosis of a broad spectrum of medical problems. With the age of personalized medicines demanding rapid bespoke diagnosis and treatment, this area of molecular diagnostics is beginning to see an upsurge in biotechnological advancement. Here, we discuss recent improvements and directions in the development of breath VOC analysis and diagnosis platforms that offer the potential for disease biomarker discovery and disease prognosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-548
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • breathomics
  • volatile organic compounds
  • personalized medicine
  • point-of-care
  • eNose
  • mass spectrometry


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