Biomarkers Diagram
Machinism of TestBreathNow-TBN. (Credit: Peking University)

A non-invasive exhaled breath screening system for COVID-19 (TestBreathNow-TBN) analyzes breath samples using breath-borne VOC biomarkers. The sampling process is completely noninvasive, with subjects using a disposable breathing bag and exhaling for only 30 seconds to complete the sampling process.

The team took samples from COVID-19 patients, non-COVID patients with respiratory diseases, and medical staff and identified 12 key VOC biomarkers. The system is easy to operate, does not require any testing reagents, and can be used with machine learning models to achieve rapid screening of COVID-19 patients in 5–10 minutes, with significantly lower costs for a single test.

The system is expected to play a major role in reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission by providing rapid screening for COVID-19 in situations such as testing for false-negative results, granting permissions to custom entry, and deciding whether to discharge COVID-19 patients from hospitals.