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Cellular respiration, metabolomics and the search for illicit drug biomarkers in breath: report from PittCon 2017
Pleil, J., J. Beauchamp, AND W. Miekisch. Cellular respiration, metabolomics and the search for illicit drug biomarkers in breath: report from PittCon 2017. Journal of Breath Research. Institute of Physics Publishing, Bristol, Uk, 11(3):039001, (2017).
The contemporary arena of breath research has become much broader than merely exploring volatile organic compound (VOC) biomarkers in exhaled air. Although breath-‐borne VOCs still dominate – and intrinsically shape– the field, there is a wide variety of topics that are now included in “breath related” research, and these have been diversely featured at the Pittsburgh Conferences on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy (Pittcon) over the past decade. This year, at the Pittcon Conference and Expo 2017, the major focus areas were based on the broad concept of cellular respiration (cell breath), the use of breath-‐based metabolomics for clinical applications, and the search for viable breath tests to establish driving impairment due to drug use, primarily cannabis. In addition, several other topics were covered, including analytical improvements in breath analysis and breath physiology. The exposition portion of Pittcon included a number of new instrumental developments that may ultimately provide mproved analytical methods for trace level analysis of breath volatiles and aerosols. Members of the International Association of Breath Research (IABR; www.breathinternational.com) organized and participated in two invited symposia and two conferee networking sessions, plus a series of analytical presentations in related topic areas.
The annual Pittcon meeting is a convenient venue for gathering together a wide range of researchers and analytical equipment manufacturers that may both provide and gain benefit from the more focused topics of breath research. Members of IABR have regularly participated in Pittcon meetings by presenting talks and organizing different types of sessions. In addition, Journal of Breath Research has been publishing annual meeting reports (such as this one) reviewing new technologies and studies related to breath measurements since 2010.