Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open AccessBreath analysis using external cavity diode lasers: a review
Most techniques that are used for diagnosis and therapy of diseases are invasive. Reliable noninvasive methods are always needed for the comfort of patients. Owing to its noninvasiveness, ease of use, and easy repeatability, exhaled breath analysis is a very good candidate for this purpose. Breath analysis can be performed using different techniques, such as gas chromatography mass spectrometry (MS), proton transfer reaction-MS, and selected ion flow tube-MS. However, these devices are bulky and require complicated procedures for sample collection and preconcentration. Therefore, these are not practical for routine applications in hospitals. Laser-based techniques with small size, robustness, low cost, low response time, accuracy, precision, high sensitivity, selectivity, low detection limit, real-time, and point-of-care detection have a great potential for routine use in hospitals. In this review paper, the recent advances in the fields of external cavity lasers and breath analysis for detection of diseases are presented.