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The use of sidestream analyzers for respired gas analysis is almost universal. However, they are not ideal for measurements of respiratory gas exchange because the analyses are both temporally dissociated from measurements of respiratory flow and also not generally conducted under the same physical conditions. This study explores the possibility of constructing an all optical, fast response, in-line breath analyzer for oxygen and carbon dioxide. Using direct absorption spectroscopy with a diode laser operating at a wavelength near 2 μm, measurements of expired carbon dioxide concentrations were obtained with an absolute limit of detection of 0.04% at a time resolution of 10 ms. Simultaneously, cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy at a wavelength near 760 nm was employed to obtain measurements of expired oxygen concentrations with an absolute limit of detection of 0.26% at a time resolution of 10 ms. We conclude that laser-based absorption spectroscopy is a promising technology for in-line analysis of respired carbon dioxide and oxygen concentrations.

Original publication




Journal article


J Appl Physiol (1985)

Publication Date





303 - 307


Absorption, Algorithms, Breath Tests, Carbon Dioxide, Feasibility Studies, Humans, Lasers, Semiconductor, Linear Models, Oxygen, Predictive Value of Tests, Reproducibility of Results, Respiration, Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted, Spectrum Analysis, Time Factors