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1.  Noninvasive detection of lung cancer by analysis of exhaled breath 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:348.
Background
Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Europe and the western world. At present, diagnosis of lung cancer very often happens late in the course of the disease since inexpensive, non-invasive and sufficiently sensitive and specific screening methods are not available. Even though the CT diagnostic methods are good, it must be assured that "screening benefit outweighs risk, across all individuals screened, not only those with lung cancer". An early non-invasive diagnosis of lung cancer would improve prognosis and enlarge treatment options. Analysis of exhaled breath would be an ideal diagnostic method, since it is non-invasive and totally painless.
Methods
Exhaled breath and inhaled room air samples were analyzed using proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) and solid phase microextraction with subsequent gas chromatography mass spectrometry (SPME-GCMS). For the PTR-MS measurements, 220 lung cancer patients and 441 healthy volunteers were recruited. For the GCMS measurements, we collected samples from 65 lung cancer patients and 31 healthy volunteers. Lung cancer patients were in different disease stages and under treatment with different regimes. Mixed expiratory and indoor air samples were collected in Tedlar bags, and either analyzed directly by PTR-MS or transferred to glass vials and analyzed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS). Only those measurements of compounds were considered, which showed at least a 15% higher concentration in exhaled breath than in indoor air. Compounds related to smoking behavior such as acetonitrile and benzene were not used to differentiate between lung cancer patients and healthy volunteers.
Results
Isoprene, acetone and methanol are compounds appearing in everybody's exhaled breath. These three main compounds of exhaled breath show slightly lower concentrations in lung cancer patients as compared to healthy volunteers (p < 0.01 for isoprene and acetone, p = 0.011 for methanol; PTR-MS measurements). A comparison of the GCMS-results of 65 lung cancer patients with those of 31 healthy volunteers revealed differences in concentration for more than 50 compounds. Sensitivity for detection of lung cancer patients based on presence of (one of) 4 different compounds not arising in exhaled breath of healthy volunteers was 52% with a specificity of 100%. Using 15 (or 21) different compounds for distinction, sensitivity was 71% (80%) with a specificity of 100%. Potential marker compounds are alcohols, aldehydes, ketones and hydrocarbons.
Conclusion
GCMS-SPME is a relatively insensitive method. Hence compounds not appearing in exhaled breath of healthy volunteers may be below the limit of detection (LOD). PTR-MS, on the other hand, does not need preconcentration and gives much more reliable quantitative results then GCMS-SPME. The shortcoming of PTR-MS is that it cannot identify compounds with certainty. Hence SPME-GCMS and PTR-MS complement each other, each method having its particular advantages and disadvantages. Exhaled breath analysis is promising to become a future non-invasive lung cancer screening method. In order to proceed towards this goal, precise identification of compounds observed in exhaled breath of lung cancer patients is necessary. Comparison with compounds released from lung cancer cell cultures, and additional information on exhaled breath composition in other cancer forms will be important.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-348
PMCID: PMC2761408  PMID: 19788722
2.  Production of isotopically-labeled standards from a uniformly labeled precursor for quantitative volatile metabolomic studies 
Analytical Chemistry  2012;84(12):5400-5406.
Optimal accuracy and precision in small molecule profiling by mass spectrometry generally requires isotopically labeled standards chemically representative of all compounds of interest. However, preparation of mixed standards from commercially available pure compounds is often prohibitively expensive and time consuming, and many labeled compounds are not available in pure form. We used a single prototype uniformly labeled [U-13C]-compound to generate [U-13C]-volatile standards for use in subsequent experimental profiling studies. [U-13C]-α-linolenic acid (C18:3n-3, ALA) was thermally oxidized to produce labeled lipid degradation volatiles which were subsequently characterized qualitatively and quantitatively. Twenty-five [U-13C]-labeled volatiles were identified by headspace solid-phase microextraction-gas chromatography-time of flight-mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC-TOF-MS) by comparison of spectra with unlabeled volatiles. Using 250 μL starting sample, labeled volatiles were quantified by a reverse isotope dilution procedure. Using the [U-13C]-labeled standards, limits of detection comparable to or better than previous HS-SPME reports were achieved, 0.010–1.04 ng/g. The performance of the [U-13C]-volatile standards was evaluated using a commodity soybean oil (CSO) oxidized at 60°C from 0 to 15 d. Relative responses of n-decane, an unlabeled internal standard otherwise absent from the mixture, and [U-13C]-oxidation products changed by up to 8-fold as the CSO matrix was oxidized, demonstrating that reliance on a single standard in volatile profiling studies yields inaccurate results due to changing matrix effects. The [U-13C]-standard mixture was used to quantify 25 volatiles in oxidized CSO and low-ALA soybean oil with an average relative standard deviation of 8.5%. Extension of this approach to other labeled substrates, e.g., [U-13C]-sugars and amino acids, for profiling studies should be feasible and can dramatically improve quantitative results compared to use of a single standard.
doi:10.1021/ac300933d
PMCID: PMC3381853  PMID: 22662968
Stable isotope metabolic labeling; lipids; uniformly labeled standard; soybean oil; metabolomics; lipidomics
3.  Determination of Volatile Compounds in Four Commercial Samples of Japanese Green Algae Using Solid Phase Microextraction Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:289780.
Green algae are of great economic importance. Seaweed is consumed fresh or as seasoning in Japan. The commercial value is determined by quality, color, and flavor and is also strongly influenced by the production area. Our research, based on solid phase microextraction gas chromatography mass spectrometry (SPME-GC-MS), has revealed that volatile compounds differ intensely in the four varieties of commercial green algae. Accordingly, 41 major volatile compounds were identified. Heptadecene was the most abundant compound from Okayama (Ulva prolifera), Tokushima (Ulva prolifera), and Ehime prefecture (Ulva linza). Apocarotenoids, such as ionones, and their derivatives were prominent volatiles in algae from Okayama (Ulva prolifera) and Tokushima prefecture (Ulva prolifera). Volatile, short chained apocarotenoids are among the most potent flavor components and contribute to the flavor of fresh, processed algae, and algae-based products. Benzaldehyde was predominant in seaweed from Shizuoka prefecture (Monostroma nitidum). Multivariant statistical analysis (PCA) enabled simple discrimination of the samples based on their volatile profiles. This work shows the potential of SPME-GC-MS coupled with multivariant analysis to discriminate between samples of different geographical and botanical origins and form the basis for development of authentication methods of green algae products, including seasonings.
doi:10.1155/2014/289780
PMCID: PMC3921977  PMID: 24592162
4.  The GC/MS Analysis of Volatile Components Extracted by Different Methods from Exocarpium Citri Grandis 
Volatile components from Exocarpium Citri Grandis (ECG) were, respectively, extracted by three methods, that is, steam distillation (SD), headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME), and solvent extraction (SE). A total of 81 compounds were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry including 77 (SD), 56 (HS-SPME), and 48 (SE) compounds, respectively. Despite of the extraction method, terpenes (39.98~57.81%) were the main volatile components of ECG, mainly germacrene-D, limonene, 2,6,8,10,14-hexadecapentaene, 2,6,11,15-tetramethyl-, (E,E,E)-, and trans-caryophyllene. Comparison was made among the three methods in terms of extraction profile and property. SD relatively gave an entire profile of volatile in ECG by long-time extraction; SE enabled the analysis of low volatility and high molecular weight compounds but lost some volatiles components; HS-SPME generated satisfactory extraction efficiency and gave similar results to those of SD at analytical level when consuming less sample amount, shorter extraction time, and simpler procedure. Although SD and SE were treated as traditionally preparative extractive techniques for volatiles in both small batches and large scale, HS-SPME coupled with GC/MS could be useful and appropriative for the rapid extraction and qualitative analysis of volatile components from medicinal plants at analytical level.
doi:10.1155/2013/918406
PMCID: PMC3855974  PMID: 24349825
5.  Can Volatile Organic Metabolites Be Used to Simultaneously Assess Microbial and Mite Contamination Level in Cereal Grains and Coffee Beans? 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e59338.
A novel approach based on headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) combined with comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography–time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC–ToFMS) was developed for the simultaneous screening of microbial and mite contamination level in cereals and coffee beans. The proposed approach emerges as a powerful tool for the rapid assessment of the microbial contamination level (ca. 70 min versus ca. 72 to 120 h for bacteria and fungi, respectively, using conventional plate counts), and mite contamination (ca. 70 min versus ca. 24 h). A full-factorial design was performed for optimization of the SPME experimental parameters. The methodology was applied to three types of rice (rough, brown, and white rice), oat, wheat, and green and roasted coffee beans. Simultaneously, microbiological analysis of the samples (total aerobic microorganisms, moulds, and yeasts) was performed by conventional plate counts. A set of 54 volatile markers was selected among all the compounds detected by GC×GC–ToFMS. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was applied in order to establish a relationship between potential volatile markers and the level of microbial contamination. Methylbenzene, 3-octanone, 2-nonanone, 2-methyl-3-pentanol, 1-octen-3-ol, and 2-hexanone were associated to samples with higher microbial contamination level, especially in rough rice. Moreover, oat exhibited a high GC peak area of 2-hydroxy-6-methylbenzaldehyde, a sexual and alarm pheromone for adult mites, which in the other matrices appeared as a trace component. The number of mites detected in oat grains was correlated to the GC peak area of the pheromone. The HS-SPME/GC×GC–ToFMS methodology can be regarded as the basis for the development of a rapid and versatile method that can be applied in industry to the simultaneous assessment the level of microbiological contamination and for detection of mites in cereals grains and coffee beans.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059338
PMCID: PMC3628908  PMID: 23613710
6.  Volatile profile analysis and quality prediction of Longjing tea (Camellia sinensis) by HS-SPME/GC-MS 
This study aimed to analyze the volatile chemical profile of Longjing tea, and further develop a prediction model for aroma quality of Longjing tea based on potent odorants. A total of 21 Longjing samples were analyzed by headspace solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Pearson’s linear correlation analysis and partial least square (PLS) regression were applied to investigate the relationship between sensory aroma scores and the volatile compounds. Results showed that 60 volatile compounds could be commonly detected in this famous green tea. Terpenes and esters were two major groups characterized, representing 33.89% and 15.53% of the total peak area respectively. Ten compounds were determined to contribute significantly to the perceived aroma quality of Longjing tea, especially linalool (0.701), nonanal (0.738), (Z)-3-hexenyl hexanoate (−0.785), and β-ionone (−0.763). On the basis of these 10 compounds, a model (correlation coefficient of 89.4% and cross-validated correlation coefficient of 80.4%) was constructed to predict the aroma quality of Longjing tea. Summarily, this study has provided a novel option for quality prediction of green tea based on HS-SPME/GC-MS technique.
doi:10.1631/jzus.B1200086
PMCID: PMC3520451  PMID: 23225852
Partial least square (PLS) regression; Green tea; Headspace solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME); Volatile profile; Quality prediction
7.  Solid-phase Microextraction (SPME) with Stable Isotope Calibration for Measuring Bioavailability of Hydrophobic Organic Contaminants 
Environmental science & technology  2013;47(17):9833-9840.
Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) is a biomimetic tool ideally suited for measuring bioavailability of hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs) in sediment and soil matrices. However, conventional SPME sampling requires the attainment of equilibrium between the fiber and sample matrix, which may take weeks or months, greatly limiting its applicability. In this study, we explored the preloading of polydimethylsiloxane fiber with stable isotope labeled analogs (SI-SPME) to circumvent the need for long sampling time, and evaluated the performance of SI-SPME against the conventional equilibrium SPME (Eq-SPME) using a range of sediments and conditions. Desorption of stable isotope-labeled analogs and absorption of PCB-52, PCB-153, bifenthrin and cis-permethrin were isotropic, validating the assumption for SI-SPME. Highly reproducible preloading was achieved using acetone-water (1:4, v/v) as the carrier. Compared to Eq-SPME that required weeks or even months, the fiber concentrations (Cf) under equilibrium could be reliably estimated by SI-SPME in 1 d under agitated conditions or 20 d under static conditions in spiked sediments. The Cf values predicted by SI-SPME were statistically identical to those determined by Eq-SPME. The SI-SPME method was further applied successfully to field sediments contaminated with PCB 52, PCB 153, and bifenthrin. The increasing availability of stable isotope labeled standards and mass spectrometry nowadays makes SI-SPME highly feasible, allowing the use of SPME under non-equilibrium conditions with much shorter or flexible sampling time.
doi:10.1021/es4022987
PMCID: PMC3923886  PMID: 23930601
8.  Dependence of exhaled breath composition on exogenous factors, smoking habits and exposure to air pollutants* 
Journal of breath research  2012;6(3):10.1088/1752-7155/6/3/036008.
Non-invasive disease monitoring on the basis of volatile breath markers is a very attractive but challenging task. Several hundreds of compounds have been detected in exhaled air using modern analytical techniques (e.g. proton-transfer reaction mass spectrometry, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry) and have even been linked to various diseases. However, the biochemical background for most of compounds detected in breath samples has not been elucidated; therefore, the obtained results should be interpreted with care to avoid false correlations. The major aim of this study was to assess the effects of smoking on the composition of exhaled breath. Additionally, the potential origin of breath volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is discussed focusing on diet, environmental exposure and biological pathways based on other’s studies. Profiles of VOCs detected in exhaled breath and inspired air samples of 115 subjects with addition of urine headspace derived from 50 volunteers are presented. Samples were analyzed with GC-MS after preconcentration on multibed sorption tubes in case of breath samples and solid phase micro-extraction (SPME) in the case of urine samples. Altogether 266 compounds were found in exhaled breath of at least 10% of the volunteers. From these, 162 compounds were identified by spectral library match and retention time (based on reference standards). It is shown that the composition of exhaled breath is considerably influenced by exposure to pollution and indoor-air contaminants and particularly by smoking. More than 80 organic compounds were found to be significantly related to smoking, the largest group comprising unsaturated hydrocarbons (29 dienes, 27 alkenes and 3 alkynes). On the basis of the presented results, we suggest that for the future understanding of breath data it will be necessary to carefully investigate the potential biological origin of volatiles, e.g., by means of analysis of tissues, isolated cell lines or other body fluids. In particular, VOCs linked to smoking habit or being the results of human exposure should be considered with care for clinical diagnosis since small changes in their concentration profiles (typically in the pptv–ppbv range) revealing that the outbreak of certain disease might be hampered by already high background.
doi:10.1088/1752-7155/6/3/036008
PMCID: PMC3863686  PMID: 22932429
9.  Biological activities and volatile constituents of Daucus muricatus L. from Algeria 
Background
In order to find new bioactive natural products, the antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of essential oil components extracted from the separated organs of the Algerian medicinal and aromatic plant Daucus muricatus L. were studied.
Results
The chemical composition of essential oils obtained by hydrodistillation (HD) was investigated using Gas Chromatography–Retention Indices (GC-RI) and GC–Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). Two types of essential oils were produced by D. muricatus: (i) The oil from roots is mainly composed by nonterpenic oxygenated compounds (59.8 g/100 g), and (ii) the aerial part oils (i.e., the leaves, stems, flowers, and umbels) was mainly composed by terpenic hydrocarbon compounds (62.3–72.2 g/100 g). The chemical composition of the volatile fraction isolated from different organs of Daucus muricatus were studied by HS–SPME/GC–RI and GC–MS after optimization of Solid Phase MicroExtraction parameters. For all organs studied, the main volatiles emitted by the plant were hydrocarbon compounds (60.7–82.2 g/100 g). Only quantitative differences between the volatiles of the separated organs studied were observed. In addition, the activity of the oil of D. muricatus against eight bacterial strains and one yeast was investigated. The oil from roots revealed active against S. aureus, while the essential oil obtained from the aerial parts was active against the yeast C. albicans.
Conclusions
Daucus muricatus essential oil seems be a promising source of natural products with potential antimicrobial activity.
doi:10.1186/1752-153X-6-48
PMCID: PMC3444933  PMID: 22647252
Daucus muricatus. L; Essential oils; HS-SPME; GC/MS; Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities
10.  Assessment of Volatile Chemical Composition of the Essential Oil of Jatropha ribifolia (Pohl) Baill by HS-SPME-GC-MS Using Different Fibers 
The chemical composition of essential oil and volatile obtained from the roots of Jatropha ribifolia (Pohl) Baill was performed in this work. The Clevenger extractor was utilized in hydrodistillation of oil and chemical composition determined by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry detector (GC-MS). The identification of compounds was confirmed by retention index (Kovats index) obtained from a series of straight chain alkanes (C7–C30) and by comparison with NIST and ADAMS library. A total of 61 compounds were identified in essential oil by GC-MS. The extraction of volatile was performed also by the use of the solid phase microextraction (SPME) with four different fibers. The essential oil extraction was extremely rapid (15 s) to avoid saturation of the fiber and the MS detector. The majority of the composition of essential oil is the terpenes: β-pinene (major compound 9.16%), β-vatirene (8.34%), α-gurjunene (6.98%), α-pinene (6.35%), camphene (4.34%), tricyclene (3.79%) and dehydro aromadendrene (3.52%) it and aldehydes and alcohols. Through the SPME it was possible to determine the nine volatile compounds not identified in oil 2,3,4-trimethyl-2-cyclopenten-1-one, α-phellandrene, 3-carene, trans-p-mentha-2,8-dienol, pinocamphone, D-verbenon, 1,3,3-trimethyl-2-(2-methyl-cyclopropyl)-cyclohexene, 2,4-diisocyanato-1-methylbenzene, and (6-hydroxymethyl-2,3-dimethylehenyl) methanol.
doi:10.1155/2013/352606
PMCID: PMC3859261  PMID: 24371539
11.  Anti-malarial activity and HS-SPME-GC-MS chemical profiling of Plinia cerrocampanensis leaf essential oil 
Malaria Journal  2014;13:18.
Background
Plinia cerrocampanensis is an endemic plant of Panama. The leaf essential oil of this plant has shown antibacterial activity. However, anti-malarial activity and chemical profiling by HS-SPME-GC-MS of this essential oil have not been reported before.
Methods
Anti-malarial activity of the essential oil (EO) was evaluated in vitro against chloroquine-sensitive HB3 and chloroquine-resistant W2 strains of Plasmodium falciparum. Synergistic effect of chloroquine and the EO on parasite growth was evaluated by calculating the combination index. A methodology involving headspace solid phase microextraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC-MS) was developed to investigate the composition of Plinia cerrocampanensis EO.
Results
Plinia cerrocampanensis EO showed a high anti-malarial activity and a synergistic interaction with chloroquine. The Plinia cerrocampanensis EO inhibited P. falciparum growth in vitro at an IC50 of 7.3 μg/mL. Chloroquine together with the EO decreased the IC50 of chloroquine from 0.1 μg/mL to 0.05 μg/mL, and of the EO from 7.3 μg/mL to 1.1 μg/mL. The measured combination index was 0.58, which clearly indicates that the EO acts synergistically with chloroquine. Since the EO maintained its inhibitory activity on the chloroquine-sensitive strain of the parasite, it could be acting by a different mechanism of action than chloroquine. The best HS-SPME-GC-MS analytical conditions were obtained when the temperature of extraction was 49°C, incubation time 14 min, and the time of extraction 10 min. This method allowed for the identification of 53 volatile constituents in the EO, including new compounds not reported earlier.
Conclusions
The anti-malarial activity exhibited by the Plinia cerrocampanensis EO may lend support for its possible use as an alternative for anti-malarial therapy.
doi:10.1186/1475-2875-13-18
PMCID: PMC3898253  PMID: 24410874
Malaria; Plinia cerrocampanensis; Plasmodium falciparum; Essential oil; Anti-malarial activity; Solid phase microextraction; Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
12.  Development of a Direct Headspace Collection Method from Arabidopsis Seedlings Using HS-SPME-GC-TOF-MS Analysis 
Metabolites  2013;3(2):223-242.
Plants produce various volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are thought to be a crucial factor in their interactions with harmful insects, plants and animals. Composition of VOCs may differ when plants are grown under different nutrient conditions, i.e., macronutrient-deficient conditions. However, in plants, relationships between macronutrient assimilation and VOC composition remain unclear. In order to identify the kinds of VOCs that can be emitted when plants are grown under various environmental conditions, we established a conventional method for VOC profiling in Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) involving headspace-solid-phase microextraction-gas chromatography-time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC-TOF-MS). We grew Arabidopsis seedlings in an HS vial to directly perform HS analysis. To maximize the analytical performance of VOCs, we optimized the extraction method and the analytical conditions of HP-SPME-GC-TOF-MS. Using the optimized method, we conducted VOC profiling of Arabidopsis seedlings, which were grown under two different nutrition conditions, nutrition-rich and nutrition-deficient conditions. The VOC profiles clearly showed a distinct pattern with respect to each condition. This study suggests that HS-SPME-GC-TOF-MS analysis has immense potential to detect changes in the levels of VOCs in not only Arabidopsis, but other plants grown under various environmental conditions.
doi:10.3390/metabo3020223
PMCID: PMC3901263  PMID: 24957989
solid-phase microextraction; HS-SPME-GC-TOF-MS; volatile organic compounds; VOC profiling; Arabidopsis
13.  Spoilage-Related Activity of Carnobacterium maltaromaticum Strains in Air-Stored and Vacuum-Packed Meat ▿ †  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2011;77(20):7382-7393.
One hundred three isolates of Carnobacterium spp. from raw meat were analyzed by random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and PCR and were identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Forty-five strains of Carnobacterium maltaromaticum were characterized for their growth capabilities at different temperatures, NaCl concentrations, and pH values and for in vitro lipolytic and proteolytic activities. Moreover, their spoilage potential in meat was investigated by analyzing the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in meat stored in air or vacuum packs. Almost all the strains were able to grow at 4, 10, and 20°C, at pH values of 6 to 9, and in the presence of 2.5% NaCl. The release of VOCs by each strain in beef stored at 4°C in air and vacuum packs was evaluated by headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME)-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. All the meat samples inoculated and stored in air showed higher numbers of VOCs than the vacuum-packed meat samples. Acetoin, 1-octen-3-ol, and butanoic acid were the compounds most frequently found under both storage conditions. The contaminated meat samples were evaluated by a sensory panel; the results indicated that for all sensory odors, no effect of strain was significant (P > 0.05). The storage conditions significantly affected (P < 0.05) the perception of dairy, spoiled-meat, and mozzarella cheese odors, which were more intense in meat stored in air than in vacuum packs but were never very intense. In conclusion, different strains of C. maltaromaticum can grow efficiently in meat stored at low temperatures both in air and in vacuum packs, producing volatile molecules with low sensory impacts, with a negligible contribution to meat spoilage overall.
doi:10.1128/AEM.05304-11
PMCID: PMC3194841  PMID: 21784913
14.  The volatile metabolome of grapevine roots: First insights into the metabolic response upon phylloxera attack 
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry  2011;49(9):1059-1063.
Many plant species respond to herbivore attack by an increased formation of volatile organic compounds. In this preliminary study we analysed the volatile metabolome of grapevine roots [Teleki 5C (Vitis berlandieri Planch. × Vitis riparia Michx.)] with the aim to gain insight into the interaction between phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae Fitch; Hemiptera: Phylloxeridae) and grapevine roots. In the first part of the study, headspace solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled to gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC–MS) was used to detect and identify volatile metabolites in uninfested and phylloxera-infested root tips of the grapevine rootstock Teleki 5C. Based on the comparison of deconvoluted mass spectra with spectra databases as well as experimentally derived retention indices with literature values, 38 metabolites were identified, which belong to the major classes of plant volatiles including C6-compounds, terpenes (including modified terpenes), aromatic compounds, alcohols and n-alkanes. Based on these identified metabolites, changes in root volatiles were investigated and resulted in metabolite profiles caused by phylloxera infestation. Our preliminary data indicate that defence related pathways such as the mevalonate and/or alternative isopentenyl pyrophosphate-, the lipoxygenase- (LOX) as well as the phenylpropanoid pathway are affected in root galls as a response to phylloxera attack.
Highlights
► 38 volatiles identified in healthy and phylloxera-infested grapevine root samples by GC–MS. ► Fourteen differentially expressed metabolites in phylloxera-infested grapevine root tips. ► Root infestation by phylloxera is associated with defence response in grapevine. ► MEV/alt. IPP-, phenylpropanoid- and LOX pathways are affected upon phylloxera attack.
doi:10.1016/j.plaphy.2011.06.008
PMCID: PMC3268251  PMID: 21764593
Phylloxera; Nodosity; Volatile secondary metabolites; Metabolite profiling; HS-SPME–GC–MS; Vitis berlandieri × Vitis riparia; Rootstock
15.  Solid-phase microextraction/gas chromatography–mass spectrometry method optimization for characterization of surface adsorption forces of nanoparticles 
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry  2014;406(26):6629-6636.
A complete characterization of the different physico-chemical properties of nanoparticles (NPs) is necessary for the evaluation of their impact on health and environment. Among these properties, the surface characterization of the nanomaterial is the least developed and in many cases limited to the measurement of surface composition and zetapotential. The biological surface adsorption index approach (BSAI) for characterization of surface adsorption properties of NPs has recently been introduced (Xia et al. Nat Nanotechnol 5:671–675, 2010; Xia et al. ACS Nano 5(11):9074–9081, 2011). The BSAI approach offers in principle the possibility to characterize the different interaction forces exerted between a NP's surface and an organic—and by extension biological—entity. The present work further develops the BSAI approach and optimizes a solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (SPME/GC-MS) method which, as an outcome, gives a better-defined quantification of the adsorption properties on NPs. We investigated the various aspects of the SPME/GC-MS method, including kinetics of adsorption of probe compounds on SPME fiber, kinetic of adsorption of probe compounds on NP's surface, and optimization of NP's concentration. The optimized conditions were then tested on 33 probe compounds and on Au NPs (15 nm) and SiO2 NPs (50 nm). The procedure allowed the identification of three compounds adsorbed by silica NPs and nine compounds by Au NPs, with equilibrium times which varied between 30 min and 12 h. Adsorption coefficients of 4.66 ± 0.23 and 4.44 ± 0.26 were calculated for 1-methylnaphtalene and biphenyl, compared to literature values of 4.89 and 5.18, respectively. The results demonstrated that the detailed optimization of the SPME/GC-MS method under various conditions is a critical factor and a prerequisite to the application of the BSAI approach as a tool to characterize surface adsorption properties of NPs and therefore to draw any further conclusions on their potential impact on health.
Graphical AbstractThe basic principle of SPME/GC-MS method for characterization of nanoparticles surface adsorption forces
doi:10.1007/s00216-014-8078-z
PMCID: PMC4182651  PMID: 25168112
Nanoparticles; Characterization; Interactions; Biomolecules
16.  Measurement of volatile organic compounds emitted in libraries and archives: an inferential indicator of paper decay? 
Background
A sampling campaign of indoor air was conducted to assess the typical concentration of indoor air pollutants in 8 National Libraries and Archives across the U.K. and Ireland. At each site, two locations were chosen that contained various objects in the collection (paper, parchment, microfilm, photographic material etc.) and one location was chosen to act as a sampling reference location (placed in a corridor or entrance hallway).
Results
Of the locations surveyed, no measurable levels of sulfur dioxide were detected and low formaldehyde vapour (< 18 μg m-3) was measured throughout. Acetic and formic acids were measured in all locations with, for the most part, higher acetic acid levels in areas with objects compared to reference locations. A large variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) was measured in all locations, in variable concentrations, however furfural was the only VOC to be identified consistently at higher concentration in locations with paper-based collections, compared to those locations without objects. To cross-reference the sampling data with VOCs emitted directly from books, further studies were conducted to assess emissions from paper using solid phase microextraction (SPME) fibres and a newly developed method of analysis; collection of VOCs onto a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) elastomer strip.
Conclusions
In this study acetic acid and furfural levels were consistently higher in concentration when measured in locations which contained paper-based items. It is therefore suggested that both acetic acid and furfural (possibly also trimethylbenzenes, ethyltoluene, decane and camphor) may be present in the indoor atmosphere as a result of cellulose degradation and together may act as an inferential non-invasive marker for the deterioration of paper. Direct VOC sampling was successfully achieved using SPME fibres and analytes found in the indoor air were also identified as emissive by-products from paper. Finally a new non-invasive, method of VOC collection using PDMS strips was shown to be an effective, economical and efficient way of examining VOC emissions directly from the pages of a book and confirmed that toluene, furfural, benzaldehyde, ethylhexanol, nonanal and decanal were the most concentrated VOCs emitted directly from paper measured in this study.
doi:10.1186/1752-153X-6-42
PMCID: PMC3439258  PMID: 22587759
Indoor air monitoring; Passive sampling; Active sampling; Tenax TA; Paper degradation; Library conservation
17.  A Multi-species Bait for Chagas Disease Vectors 
Background
Triatomine bugs are the insect vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease. These insects are known to aggregate inside shelters during daylight hours and it has been demonstrated that within shelters, the aggregation is induced by volatiles emitted from bug feces. These signals promote inter-species aggregation among most species studied, but the chemical composition is unknown.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In the present work, feces from larvae of the three species were obtained and volatile compounds were identified by solid phase microextraction-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (SPME-GC-MS). We identified five compounds, all present in feces of all of the three species: Triatoma infestans, Panstrongylus megistus and Triatoma brasiliensis. These substances were tested for attractivity and ability to recruit insects into shelters. Behaviorally active doses of the five substances were obtained for all three triatomine species. The bugs were significantly attracted to shelters baited with blends of 160 ng or 1.6 µg of each substance.
Conclusions/Significance
Common compounds were found in the feces of vectors of Chagas disease that actively recruited insects into shelters, which suggests that this blend of compounds could be used for the development of baits for early detection of reinfestation with triatomine bugs.
Author Summary
Chagas disease is a parasitic infection affecting approximately 12 million people, and is considered to be one of the most severe burdens for public health in Latin America. Control of the disease is based on attempted elimination of domestic populations of triatomine bugs, the insects transmitting the disease to humans, by means of insecticide spraying. Currently, vigilance programs monitoring triatomine reinfestation processes in houses are performed by manual search for bugs. Effective and sustainable new methods allowing continuous monitoring of domestic triatomine populations are required. Based on the fact that the insects hide in dark refuges that are marked by volatile signals emitted in their feces, we screened the feces of three species for volatile compounds common to these prominent vectors. The potential for these odors to promote triatomine aggregation was evaluated and we present evidence that a synthetic blend of these substances is capable of recruiting bugs into shelters, mimicking the natural pheromone. This blend may be used to develop a bait to monitor triatomine reinfestation processes in a similar manner as is used commonly for the monitoring of agricultural pests.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002677
PMCID: PMC3937276  PMID: 24587457
18.  Non-Invasive Breath Analysis of Pulmonary Nodules 
INTRODUCTION
The search for non-invasive diagnostic methods of lung cancer has led to new avenues of research, including the exploration of the exhaled breath. Previous studies have shown that lung cancer can in principle be detected through exhaled breath analysis. This study evaluated the potential of exhaled breath analysis for the distinction of benign and malignant pulmonary nodules (PNs).
METHODS
Breath samples were taken from 72 patients with PNs in a prospective trial. Profiles of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were determined by (i) gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS) combined with solid phase microextraction (SPME) and by (ii) a chemical nanoarray.
RESULTS
53 PNs were malignant and 19 were benign with similar smoking histories and co-morbidities. Nodule size (mean +/− SD) was 2.7±1.7 vs. 1.6±1.3 cm (p=0.004) respectively. Within the malignant group, 47 were NSCLC and 6 were SCLC. Thirty had early stage disease and 23 had advanced disease. GC-MS analysis identified a significantly higher concentration of 1-octene in the breath of lung cancer, and the nanoarray distinguished significantly between benign vs. malignant PNs (p<0.0001; accuracy 88±3%), between adeno- and squamous- cell carcinomas (p<0.0001; 88±3%) and between early stage and advanced disease (p<0.0001; 88±2%).
CONCLUSIONS
In this pilot study, breath analysis discriminated benign from malignant PNs in a high-risk cohort based on lung cancer related VOC profiles. Further, it discriminated adeno-and squamous- cell carcinoma and between early vs. advanced disease. Further studies are required to validate this non-invasive approach, using a larger cohort of patients with PNs detected by CT.
doi:10.1097/JTO.0b013e3182637d5f
PMCID: PMC3444531  PMID: 22929969
Lung cancer; pulmonary nodules; diagnosis; breath; nanoarray
19.  Characterization of volatile compounds of Daucus crinitus Desf. Headspace Solid Phase Microextraction as alternative technique to Hydrodistillation 
Background
Traditionally, the essential oil of aromatic herbs is obtained using hydrodistillation (HD). Because the emitted volatile fraction plays a fundamental role in a plant's life, various novel techniques have been developed for its extraction from plants. Among these, headspace solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME) can be used to obtain a rapid fingerprint of a plant's headspace. Daucus crinitus Desf. is a wild plant that grows along the west coast of Algeria. Only a single study has dealt with the chemical composition of the aerial part oils of Algerian D. crinitus, in which isochavicol isobutyrate (39.0%), octyl acetate (12.3%), and β-caryophyllene (5.4%) were identified. Using GC-RI and GC-MS analysis, the essential oils and the volatiles extracted from separated organs of D. crinitus Desf. were studied using HS-SPME.
Results
GC-RI and GC-MS analysis identified 72 and 79 components in oils extracted using HD and in the volatile fractions extracted using SPME, respectively. Two types of essential oils were produced by the plant: the root oils had aliphatic compounds as the main component (87.0%-90.1%), and the aerial part oils had phenylpropanoids as the main component (43.1%-88.6%). HS-SPME analysis showed a more precise distribution of compounds in the organs studied: oxygenated aliphatic compounds were well represented in the roots (44.3%-84.0%), hydrocarbon aliphatic compounds were in the leaves and stems (22.2%-87.9%), and phenylpropanoids were in the flowers and umbels (47.9%-64.2%). Moreover, HS-SPME allowed the occurrence of isochavicol (29.6 - 34.7%) as main component in D. crinitus leaves, but it was not detected in the oils, probably because of its solubility in water.
Conclusions
This study demonstrates that HD and HS-SPME modes could be complimentary extraction techniques in order to obtain the complete characterization of plant volatiles.
doi:10.1186/1752-153X-4-16
PMCID: PMC2955580  PMID: 20858266
20.  Emission rates of selected volatile organic compounds from skin of healthy volunteers 
Highlights
•Quantification of volatiles emitted by human skin by SPME-GCMS.•Determination of emission rates of 64 skin-borne species.•Selection of potential skin-borne markers of human presence for rescue applications.
Gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC–MS) coupled with solid phase micro-extraction as pre-concentration method (SPME) was applied to identify and quantify volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by human skin. A total of 64 C4-C10 compounds were quantified in skin emanation of 31 healthy volunteers. Amongst them aldehydes and hydrocarbons were the predominant chemical families with eighteen and seventeen species, respectively. Apart from these, there were eight ketones, six heterocyclic compounds, six terpenes, four esters, two alcohols, two volatile sulphur compounds, and one nitrile. The observed median emission rates ranged from 0.55 to 4790 fmol cm−2 min−1. Within this set of analytes three volatiles; acetone, 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one, and acetaldehyde exhibited especially high emission rates exceeding 100 fmol cm−2 min−1. Thirty-three volatiles were highly present in skin emanation with incidence rates over 80%. These species can be considered as potential markers of human presence, which could be used for early location of entrapped victims during Urban Search and Rescue Operations (USaR).
doi:10.1016/j.jchromb.2014.04.006
PMCID: PMC4013926  PMID: 24768920
Volatile organic compounds; Human skin emanation; Human odor; Entrapped victims; Emission rate; SPME-GCMS
21.  Metabolic networking in Brunfelsia calycina petals after flower opening 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2010;61(5):1393-1403.
Brunfelsia calycina flowers change colour from purple to white due to anthocyanin degradation, parallel to an increase in fragrance and petal size. Here it was tested whether the production of the fragrant benzenoids is dependent on induction of the shikimate pathway, or if they are formed from the anthocyanin degradation products. An extensive characterization of the events taking place in Brunfelsia flowers is presented. Anthocyanin characterization was performed using ultraperfomance liquid chromatography–quadrupole time of flight–tandem mass specrometry (UPLC-QTOF-MS/MS). Volatiles emitted were identified by headspace solid phase microextraction–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC-MS). Accumulated proteins were identified by 2D gel electrophoresis. Transcription profiles were characterized by cross-species hybridization of Brunfelsia cDNAs to potato cDNA microarrays. Identification of accumulated metabolites was performed by UPLC-QTOF-MS non-targeted metabolite analysis. The results include characterization of the nine main anthocyanins in Brunfelsia flowers. In addition, 146 up-regulated genes, 19 volatiles, seven proteins, and 17 metabolites that increased during anthocyanin degradation were identified. A multilevel analysis suggests induction of the shikimate pathway. This pathway is the most probable source of the phenolic acids, which in turn are precursors of both the benzenoid and lignin production pathways. The knowledge obtained is valuable for future studies on degradation of anthocyanins, formation of volatiles, and the network of secondary metabolism in Brunfelsia and related species.
doi:10.1093/jxb/erq008
PMCID: PMC2837258  PMID: 20202996
Anthocyanin; benzenoid; Brunfelsia; lignin; secondary metabolism
22.  Application of Headspace Solid-Phase Microextraction for Determination of Chloro-Organic Compounds in Sewage Samples 
Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods  2008;18(6):543-550.
Solid phase microextraction (SPME) has been optimized and applied to the determination of the volatile halogenated compounds (VHCs) and semi-volatile halogenated compounds (SVHCs). Three types of SPME fiber coated with different stationary phases (PDMS–100 μm, CAR/PDMS-75 μm, PDMS/DVB–65 μm) were used to examine their extraction efficiencies for the compounds tested. Experimental parameters such as the selection of SPME coatings, extraction time, and addition of salts were studied. The carboxen-polydimethylsiloxane (CAR/PDMS) fiber appears to be the most suitable for the determination of VHCs. Analytical parameters such as linearity, limit of detection, and precision were also evaluated. Application of ECD detector for the determination of VHCs and SVHCs allows their determination on the low concentration level, ranging from 0.005 to 0.8 μg/L−1. The HS-SPME-GC/ECD procedure gave good analytical precision expressed as relative standard deviation (RSD) (ranged from 5.08% to 8.07%) for a concentration level of 5 μg/L−1 and good linearity (r2 > 0.98) in a wide calibration range. The applied HS-SPME-GC/ECD method was found to be a quick and effective technique for the determination of microtrace amounts of volatile and semi-volatile halogenated compounds in samples containing high amounts of various organic compounds.
doi:10.1080/15376510701624084
PMCID: PMC2729158  PMID: 19696911
Environmental Analysis; Halogenated Compounds; Solid Phase Microextraction; Water Analysis
23.  Mouse Urinary Biomarkers Provide Signatures of Maturation, Diet, Stress Level, and Diurnal Rhythm 
Chemical Senses  2010;35(6):459-471.
Body fluids such as urine potentially contain a wealth of information pertaining to age, sex, social and reproductive status, physiologic state, and genotype of the donor. To explore whether urine could encode information regarding environment, physiology, and development, we compared the volatile compositions of mouse urine using solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (SPME-GC/MS). Specifically, we identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in individual urine samples taken from inbred C57BL/6J-H-2b mice under several experimental conditions—maturation state, diet, stress, and diurnal rhythms, designed to mimic natural variations. Approximately 1000 peaks (i.e., variables) were identified per comparison and of these many were identified as potential differential biomarkers. Consistent with previous findings, we found groups of compounds that vary significantly and consistently rather than a single unique compound to provide a robust signature. We identified over 49 new predictive compounds, in addition to identifying several published compounds, for maturation state, diet, stress, and time-of-day. We found a considerable degree of overlap in the chemicals identified as (potential) biomarkers for each comparison. Chemometric methods indicate that the strong group-related patterns in VOCs provide sufficient information to identify several parameters of natural variations in this strain of mice including their maturation state, stress level, and diet.
doi:10.1093/chemse/bjq032
PMCID: PMC2899844  PMID: 20418335
age; diet; solid-phase microextraction and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry; stress; urine; volatile organic compound
24.  Aroma changes of black tea prepared from methyl jasmonate treated tea plants*  
Methyl jasmonate (MeJA) was widely applied in promoting food quality. Aroma is one of the key indicators in judging the quality of tea. This study examined the effect of exogenous MeJA treatment on tea aroma. The aroma components in black tea prepared from MeJA-treated fresh tea leaves were extracted using headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) and were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and GC-olfactometry (GC-O). Forty-five volatile compounds were identified. The results revealed that the MeJA-treated black tea had higher levels of terpene alcohols and hexenyl esters than the untreated tea. Moreover, several newly components, including copaene, cubenol, and indole, were induced by the MeJA treatment. The activities of polyphenol oxidase and β-glucosidase in fresh tea leaves changed after the MeJA treatment. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis indicated that the gene expression levels of polyphenol oxidase and β-primeverosidase were upregulated by two and three folds, respectively, by the MeJA treatment (P<0.01); however, the gene expression of β-glucosidase was downregulated to a half level. In general, the aroma quality of the MeJA-treated black tea was clearly improved.
doi:10.1631/jzus.B1300238
PMCID: PMC3989150  PMID: 24711352
Aroma; Black tea; Methyl jasmonate (MeJA); Headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME); Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS); Gas chromatography-olfactometry (GC-O); Gene expression
25.  Volatile fingerprints of seeds of four species indicate the involvement of alcoholic fermentation, lipid peroxidation, and Maillard reactions in seed deterioration during ageing and desiccation stress 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2012;63(18):6519-6530.
The volatile compounds released by orthodox (desiccation-tolerant) seeds during ageing can be analysed using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Comparison of three legume species (Pisum sativum, Lathyrus pratensis, and Cytisus scoparius) during artificial ageing at 60% relative humidity and 50 °C revealed variation in the seed volatile fingerprint between species, although in all species the overall volatile concentration increased with storage period, and changes could be detected prior to the onset of viability loss. The volatile compounds are proposed to derive from three main sources: alcoholic fermentation, lipid peroxidation, and Maillard reactions. Lipid peroxidation was confirmed in P. sativum seeds through analysis of malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxynonenal. Volatile production by ageing orthodox seeds was compared with that of recalcitrant (desiccation-sensitive) seeds of Quercus robur during desiccation. Many of the volatiles were common to both ageing orthodox seeds and desiccating recalcitrant seeds, with alcoholic fermentation forming the major source of volatiles. Finally, comparison was made between two methods of analysis; the first used a Tenax adsorbent to trap volatiles, whilst the second used solid phase microextraction to extract volatiles from the headspace of vials containing powdered seeds. Solid phase microextraction was found to be more sensitive, detecting a far greater number of compounds. Seed volatile analysis provides a non-invasive means of characterizing the processes involved in seed deterioration, and potentially identifying volatile marker compounds for the diagnosis of seed viability loss.
doi:10.1093/jxb/ers307
PMCID: PMC3504501  PMID: 23175670
Ageing; alcoholic fermentation; desiccation; lipid peroxidation; Maillard reaction; seed; Strecker degradation; viability; volatile.

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