Non-invasive breath collection in murine models using a newly developed sampling device *

K.F.H. Hintzen, A. Smolinska, A.G.R. Mommers, N.D. Bouvy, F.J. van Schooten, T. Lubbers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath have the potential to be used as biomarkers for screening and diagnosis of diseases. Clinical studies are often complicated by both modifiable and non-modifiable factors influencing the composition of VOCs in exhaled breath. Small laboratory animal studies contribute in obtaining fundamental insight in alterations in VOC composition in exhaled breath and thereby facilitate the design and analysis of clinical research. However, long term animal experiments are often limited by invasive breath collection methods and terminal experiments. To overcome this problem, a novel device was developed for non-invasive breath collection in mice using glass nose-only restrainers thereby omitting the need of anesthetics. C57Bl/6 J mice were used to test reproducibility and different air sampling settings for air-flow (ml min(-1)) and time (minutes). Exhaled air was collected on desorption tubes and analysed for VOCs by gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-tof-MS). In total 27 compounds were putatively identified and used to assess the variability of the VOC measurements in the breath collections. Best reproducibility is obtained when using an air flow of 185 ml min(-1) and a collection time of 20 min. Due to the non-invasive nature of breath collections in murine models, this device has the potential to facilitate VOC research in relation to disturbed metabolism and or disease pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Article number027102
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Breath Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • exhaled breath analysis
  • volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-tof-MS)
  • murine model
  • TIME
  • RATS

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