Biomarker Discovery

Monitoring changes in volatiles produced by the human body offers a powerful way to detect, diagnose and monitor disease. Our ‘Biomarker discovery’ product package provides confident and secure handling of valuable samples, while giving you the flexibility to adapt to different sample types.

The challenge

  • Quality control is critical – from sample collection through to data analysis.
  • Samples are highly complex, with many chemical classes present, but diagnostic compounds are rarely of high abundance.
  • Large-scale clinical trials involve processing hundreds of valuable samples over many months.

To benchmark breath-analysis methods, peppermint oil capsules can be used to produce a controlled, artificial change in the key analytes such as terpenes – as illustrated in this small portion of a breath profile, analysed using our ‘Biomarker discovery’ product package.

The solution

  • The TD100-xr™ thermal desorber maintains sample integrity with features like sample re-collection, DiffLok™ caps, leak-testing and internal standard addition. The Centri® platform adds automated sample extraction and enrichment for other biological samples, while maintaining all of the advantages above.
  • INSIGHT® GCxGC flow modulation provides enhanced separation with repeatable results across lengthy clinical trials, even for the most volatile species.
  • BenchTOF2™ mass spectrometers provide the sensitivity, selectivity and spectral quality needed for confident identification of targets and unknowns in a single run, as well as extended dynamic range to quantify high-loaders while maintaining sensitivity for trace-level compounds.
  • Tandem Ionisation® for BenchTOF™ simultaneously acquires both ‘soft EI’ and regular 70 eV mass spectra, for additional confidence in identification, in a single streamlined workflow.
  • ChromCompare+™ software provides fully automated workflows for alignment and comparison of all of the raw ‘tandem’ data, to ensure key compounds are not overlooked.

The benefits

  • Sample security: Valuable or perishable samples can be split to allow repeat analysis or secure storage.

  • Flexibility:The system can be configured to analyse breath, urine, saliva and many other biological samples.

  • Greater insights: Enhanced sensitivity combined with improved separation uncovers differences between samples that may have been missed previously.
  • Confidence: Remove the guesswork associated with identifications through dual-library searching of 70 eV and soft EI spectra.
  • Improved discovery: Minimise false positives to ensure subtle differences are readily identified.
  • Connected workflows: Carry out robust discovery with GCxGC, then transition easily to high-throughput fast GC once biomarkers are known, on the same platform and user interface to minimise training and re-validation.


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