Maintaining data integrity in breathomics workflows: Lessons learned from the clinic
Speakers: Dr Michael J. Wilde & Dr Wadah Ibrahim (University of Leicester)
Exhaled breath contains a wealth of information which reflects the metabolic processes and pathophysiology of the human body in the form of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Accurate identification and measurement of VOC biomarkers in breath has the potential to provide minimally invasive diagnoses, resulting in earlier detection and improved prognosis for many diseases.
Breathomic centres therefore require end-to-end workflows suited to meet the challenges of conducting large-scale, often multi-site, clinical studies for the discovery analysis of breath VOCs.
Analytical considerations include collection, transportation, storage as well as the analysis of breath samples using techniques such as thermal desorption (TD) coupled with GC-MS and GC×GC-MS.
However, these should not be considered in isolation from the clinical programme. Successful delivery of large breathomic studies relies on a cohesive effort between clinical and analytical researchers as well bioinformaticians to ensure the collection and fusion of high fidelity datasets.
The guest speakers, Dr Wilde and Dr Ibrahim, explore the challenges and solutions in the development of breath analysis in acute respiratory diseases as part of their work with the MRC East MIdlands Breathomics Pathology node (EMBER).