Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

The need for multicomponent gas standards for breath biomarker analysis



Kavita Jeerage, Jennifer Berry, Jacolin Murray, Cassie Goodman, Paulina Piotrowski, Christina Jones, Christina Cecelski, Jennifer Carney, Katrice Lippa, Tara Lovestead


Exhaled breath is a non-invasive, information-rich matrix with the potential to diagnose or monitor disease, including infectious disease. Despite significant effort dedicated to biomarker identification in case control studies, very few breath tests are established in practice. In this topical review, we identify how gas standards support breath analysis today and what is needed to support further expansion and translation to practice. We examine forensic and clinical breath tests and discuss how confidence has been built through unambiguous biomarker identification and quantitation supported by gas calibration standards. Based on this discussion, we identify a need for multicomponent gas standards with part-per-trillion to part-per-million concentrations. We highlight National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) gas standards developed for atmospheric measurements that are also relevant to breath analysis and describe investigations of long-term stability, chemical reactions, and interactions with gas cylinder wall treatments. An overview of emerging online instruments and their need for gas standards is also presented. This review concludes with a discussion of our ongoing research to examine the feasibility of producing multicomponent gas standards at breath-relevant concentrations. Such standards could be used to investigate interference from ubiquitous endogenous compounds and as a starting point for standards tailored to specific breath tests.
Journal of Breath Research


biomarkers, gas standards, reference materials, volatile organic compounds


Jeerage, K. , Berry, J. , Murray, J. , Goodman, C. , Piotrowski, P. , Jones, C. , Cecelski, C. , Carney, J. , Lippa, K. and Lovestead, T. (2022), The need for multicomponent gas standards for breath biomarker analysis, Journal of Breath Research, [online],, (Accessed May 26, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created July 7, 2022, Updated November 29, 2022