• Real-time breath-by-breath analysis
  • High immunity to humidity – even at breath levels
  • High sensitivity and wide linear range
  • Direct, non-invasive breath analysis without any sample preparation
  • Ease-of-use for non-chemists, such as clinicians and biologists
  • Analysis of diverse compounds in breath, including carbon dioxide


Rapid instrumental detection of volatile biomarkers has proved challenging due to the complexity of the matrix, the low concentrations of the compounds, and the high humidity. SIFT-MS is the first technology to successfully address all of these challenges, and provide simplicity of operation. Here we outline several SIFT-MS-based breath research and medical research solutions provided by Syft Technologies.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and certain inorganic gases (such as nitric oxide, NO) are byproducts of a range of metabolic processes in living organisms. Variations in emitted compounds for a particular condition offers the opportunity to use these compounds as markers of ill health by comparing profiles from the unwell with those from the “healthy normal” population. Better known human examples include ammonia and amine odors on the breath of people with kidney conditions, and solvent-like odors on the breath of diabetics in a state of ketosis. Volatile compounds also offer potential for rapid discrimination between species (e.g. microbes) because of the different profiles arising from differing metabolic pathways.

Industry challenges

  • Globally, rates of cancer, diabetes, etc., continue to increase.
  • The WHO suggests that about 30 – 50 % of cancer could be prevented if it was diagnosed earlier.
  • Currently, most of the techniques used to diagnose disease are invasive and ill-suited to early detection of disease.
  • Non-invasive screening tools often do not exist.
  • Traditional breath analysis methods cannot screen large numbers of people.

How Syft can help

  • Direct breath analysis using SIFT-MS provides opportunities for screening large numbers of people for disease risk.
  • Non-invasive sampling via breath is easy, non-threatening, and economical.
  • Direct analysis  with no sample preparation  preserves sample integrity and reduces analytical uncertainty.
  • Real-time analysis enables researchers to track breath-by-breath to better correlate with the underlying disease states.


The SIFT-MS technique provides rapid, high-sensitivity analysis of VOCs and certain inorganic gases on breath with no sample preparation and no compound discrimination, being ideal for breath research applications. Benefits include:

  • Real-time analysis of individual breath exhalations
  • Analytical results unaffected by sample humidity – no sample drying is required
  • Very wide linear and dynamic range
  • Flexibility – analyze directly or via sampling media, such as sampling bags.

Applications of SIFT-MS-based breath analysis include:

  • Disease marker screening
  • Kidney medicine
  • Non-invasive diabetes screening
  • Respiratory medicine
  • Intensive care medicine
  • Monitoring anesthetics during surgery.
Breath Research Analysis

Single breath SIFT-MS analysis for hydrogen cyanide (gray) and hydrogen sulfide (black)

Population screening via breath testing

Population screening by SIFT-MS: single breaths from four individuals. Acetone (dotted line), isoprene (black), and ethanol (gray) data are shown


Practical screening of large populations via breath testing requires:

  • Low operating and consumable costs
  • Simple sample collection and analysis
  • High throughput
  • Immediate, understandable reporting of analytical results.

The Syft Technologies’ breath testing solution delivers all of these requirements, making rapid, high-sensitivity population screening feasible for the first time.Applications of SIFT-MS-based population screening include:

  • Groups at higher risk of suffering from diabetes, kidney disease, respiratory conditions, etc.
  • Assessing exposure following a pollution incident
  • Verification of non-smoking status prior to insurance policy or claim approval.


Rapid analysis of breath or the headspace of blood and urine samples using SIFT-MS enables much more detailed analysis of temporal trends than is possible with other techniques. This provides greater insight into how the body metabolizes the introduced pharmaceutical or chemical.

  • Applications of continuous monitoring include:
  • Pharmacokinetic studies, when pharmaceuticals are administered that yield volatile metabolic byproducts
  • Monitoring changes when alternative therapeutic strategies are invoked, such as optimizing dialysis treatment
  • Investigating the effects of exposure to particular VOCs, either in a controlled study, or through a workplace accident or environmental pollution incident

Rapid reporting of breath analyte concentrations and trends at point of care has the potential to guide timely therapies.

monitoring temporal changes in breath profiles

Decay of mesitylene in a volunteer’s breath after a two-hour controlled exposure, measured using SIFT-MS. The solid line represents a two reservoir fit to the experimental points

Image of the Syft Voice 200 ultra


SIFT-MS platform capable of autonomous 24/7 monitoring of VOCs and inorganic gases.

Breath inlet

Optimized inlet for breath research allowing high-sensitivity measurement of alveolar air.


Software package for viewing and analyzing SIFT-MS data from multiple instruments, customizing analyses, and interacting with the Voice200ultra.

Compound Library

Access detection and quantitation parameters for over 1000 compounds to leverage the diverse capability of the platform.


Dual-polarity ion source provides eight rapidly switchable reagent ions for enhanced selectivity.

Get in touch for more information on our Breath Research solutions

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