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Electronic theses and dissertations repository


Tesi etd-03052017-101514

Thesis type
Tesi di laurea magistrale
On-sorbent derivatization of carbonyl compounds in exhaled breath
Corso di studi
relatore Prof. Di Francesco, Fabio
relatore Prof. Lomonaco, Tommaso
controrelatore Prof. Mandoli, Alessandro
Parole chiave
  • expired breath
  • derivatization
  • carbonyl
  • VOC
Data inizio appello
Riassunto analitico
Aim of this work is to validate a method for the determination of VOCs in human breath sample. These compounds can be associated with a physiologic imbalance of the body that can lead to an oxidative stress, which is an alteration in the concentration of oxidant agent inside the organism. This disease can manifest with an exceed of species like peroxides and free radicals, which can cause grave illness like arteriosclerosis, Parkinson syndrome, pulmonary embolism and so on.

The main problem in the analysis of VOCs is their instability. The proposed solution is to use a derivatization agent in order to form stable adduct of those analytes, and then analyze them with chromatographic technique.

The innovation in this technique lie in the fact that the derivatization agent is applied directly on the sampler device, specifically Thermal Desorption Tubes. Using a loading device the sample is passed through the stationary phase, while other data like flow rate and CO2 concentration can still be recorded.

The sample are then analyzed with gas chromatographic technique, using a Thermal Desorber in order to release the compounds. Thanks to the Mass Spectrometer coupled with the thermal desorber it is possible to both identificate and quantificate the species.

A possible application for this method, is the develop of an instrument for the monitoring of the breath of patient at risk of pulmonary embolism, like for example person subject to deep vein thrombosis at their leg, people that has been operated recently or that are frequently subject to traumas. With the variation of the haematocrit, these categories can develop a blood clot in the vein that, if it’s small enough, can pass through the hearth wall and cause a pulmonary embolism.

A second application of this method would be the monitoring of preterm newborn, subject to Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, a grave disease that hit almost exclusively infants born ahead of time. Nowadays we’re still not sure on what’s the cause of this disease, but if it’s diagnosed in time it can be cured, giving the newborn a normal life expectancy.