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Proceedings Paper

Breath testing with a mid-IR laser spectrometer
Author(s): Khosrow Namjou; Patrick J. McCann; William T. Potter
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Paper Abstract

A mid-IR tunable diode laser absorption spectrometer (TDLAS) equipped with a multiple-pass gas cell was used to measure breath samples from a number of student volunteers at the University of Oklahoma. Test subjects included one to two pack-a-day cigarette smokers and non-smokers. The concentrations of four different molecules, N2O, 12CO2, 13CO2 and CO, were measured by each laser scan in the 2206.1 cm-1 to 2207 cm-1 spectral range. The average concentration of nitrous oxide (N2O) increased slightly for smokers versus non-smokers and was generally higher (12%) than the approximately 255 ppm concentration measured in ambient air. Carbon monoxide concentrations, however, were much higher in breath samples from cigarette smokers. Ambient concentrations of carbon monoxide, approximately 0.4 ppm, increased from approximately 1.0 ppm in non-smokers to levels over 13.4 ppm in smokers. These measurements provide clear evidence of the well-known effect that cigarette smoking has on replacing oxygen with carbon monoxide in human hemoglobin. Carbon dioxide concentrations of smokers were generally decreased by approximately 12%. Mid-IR laser measurements also provided 13CO2/12CO2 isotope ratio values, and smokers had a approximately 30% greater concentration of isotopic 13C in their breath. The possible mechanisms for 13CO2 isotopic increases are at present unknown. Overall, long-path TDL spectroscopy of exhalation products is a uniquely powerful tool. The TDL systems can be used for noninvasive diagnosis of a wide range of metabolisms and pathologies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 October 1999
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 3758, Application of Tunable Diode and Other Infrared Sources for Atmospheric Studies and Industrial Processing Monitoring II, (25 October 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.366463
Show Author Affiliations
Khosrow Namjou, Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)
Patrick J. McCann, Univ. of Oklahoma (United States)
William T. Potter, Univ. of Tulsa (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3758:
Application of Tunable Diode and Other Infrared Sources for Atmospheric Studies and Industrial Processing Monitoring II
Alan Fried, Editor(s)

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