The Hadamard transform-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (HT-GC/MS) technique was successfully employed to detect acetone, a biomarker for diabetes mellitus (DM) prediction, in human breath. Samples of exhaled breath were collected from four DM patients (one type-I and three type-II) and eight volunteers (nondiabetic healthy subjects), respectively. The gas samples, without any pretreatment, were simultaneously injected into a GC column through a Hadamard-injector based on Hadamard codes. Under optimized conditions, when cyclic S-matrix orders of 255, 1023 and 2047 were used, the S/N ratios of the acetone signals were substantially improved by 8.0-, 16.0- and 22.6-fold, respectively; these improvements are in good agreement with theoretically calculated values. We found that the breath acetone concentration levels in the four DM patients and the eight volunteers ranged from 1 to 10 ppmv and 0.1 to 1 ppmv, respectively.
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