Abstract

A high-resolution liquid-nitrogen-free mid-infrared tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy (TDLAS) system was used to perform real-time measurement of acetaldehyde concentrations in human exhaled breath following ingestion of an alcoholic beverage. Acetaldehyde absorption features were measured near 5.79μm(1727cm1) using a IV–VI semiconductor laser, a 100  m long path optical gas cell, and second- harmonic detection coupled with wavelength modulation. Acetaldehyde levels were measured with a minimum detection limit of 80 ppb for 5 s integration time. The variations in exhaled acetaldehyde levels over time were analyzed prior to and following ingestion of two different amounts of white wine. A method to calibrate acetaldehyde measurements internally using water vapor absorption lines was investigated to eliminate the need for system calibration with gas standards. The potential of a TDLAS system to be used as a noninvasive clinical tool for measurements of large volatile compounds with possible applications in cancer detection is demonstrated.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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