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Energy and Environment Directorate

Research Capabilities

Discovery of Novel Volatile Organic Metabolic Signatures for Early Immune Response or Inflammatory Conditions

Methods will be developed to discover trace volatile organic compounds that aid in quickly identifying signatures of early host response related to exposure to biological pathogens.

When dealing with potential exposures to biological pathogens, the preference is to detect exposure early and, where possible, use non-invasive techniques. The analytical technique PNNL has developed targets the discovery of novel volatile organic metabolic signatures produced in response to pathogen exposure that will quickly identify signatures of early host response. The approach taken in this project is to detect trace volatile organics, either odorous or non-odorous compounds, released as byproducts of metabolism. Samples from Francisella novicida exposed cells in a 3-D cell culture system and exposed mice will be analyzed. Comprehensive 2-D gas chromatography-mass spectrometry will be the technique of choice to screen the entire volatile compound map because neither the type, number or amount of components are known a priori. Computational statistics are used in the pre-processing of data to reduce bias and improve accuracy of biosignatures. As a validation effort, the results from this project will be integrated with results from nuclear magnetic resonance investigations and metabolite sensor platform. The information will help drive the future development of non-invasive sensor platforms for early detection of bio-agent exposure.

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas