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Spitalstrasse 33
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Botnar Professorship

Breath is an underexploited body fluid, which contains valuable biochemical information at the metabolic level. Our mission is to uncap the potential that breath analysis holds as a non-invasive method to assist in clinical decision making. We are a multidisciplinary team of scientists embedded at the University of Basel Children’s Hospital (UKBB) since June 2017. Being physically rooted within a clinical context provides us with the unique advantage of interacting with clinicians and having direct access to patients. 

Secondary Electrospray Ionization-High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (SESI-HRMS) breath analysis platform at UKBB. This technique allows us to capture rich metabolic breath-prints of patients in a totally non-invasive and real-time fashion.

Ongoing Research Projects

Pneumonia is the leading infectious cause of death worldwide, mainly among children. For example, pneumonia accounts for 15% of all deaths in children less than 5 years of age (an estimated 935,000 children each year). Globally, pneumonia affects approximately 450 million people, and results in about 4 million deaths, per year. Hence, it exacts an enormous cost in economic and human terms. Early diagnosis is crucial for treatment success and improvement of outcome. However, the high morbidity and mortality of pneumonia is partly due to the lack of efficient diagnostics.

Our ultimate objective will be diagnosing bacterial pneumonia using a non-invasive breath test, that will deliver a positive/negative response and will identify a subset of causing pathogens in ~15 min. The figure describes the clinical problem and the proposed solution.

This work is part of the Zurich Exhalomics project under the umbrella of "University Medicine Zurich/Hochschulmedizin Zürich"

Diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia (Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation)



Selected Publications

1.    Gaugg, M. T.; Engler, A.; Nussbaumer-Ochsner, Y.; Bregy, L.; Stöberl, A.; Gaisl, T.; Bruderer, T.; Zenobi, R.; Kohler, M.; Martinez-Lozano Sinues, P., Metabolic effects of inhaled salbutamol determined by exhaled breath analysis, J. Breath. Res. 2017, 11 (4), 046004.

2.    Tejero Rioseras, A.; Gaugg, M. T.; Martinez-Lozano Sinues, P., Secondary Electrospray ionization proceeds via gas-phase chemical ionization. Anal. Meth. 2017, 9 (34), 5052-5057.!divAbstract

3.    Gaugg, M. T.; Garcia Gomez, D.; Barrios Collado, C.; Vidal de Miguel, G.; Kohler, M.; Zenobi, R.; Martinez-Lozano Sinues, P., Expanding metabolite coverage of real-time breath analysis by coupling a universal secondary electrospray ionization source and high resolution mass spectrometry – a pilot study on tobacco smokers. J. Breath. Res. 2016 , 10 (1), 016010.;

4.    Barrios Collado, C.; Garcia Gomez, D.; Zenobi, R.; Vidal de Miguel, G.; Ibañez, A. J.; Martinez-Lozano Sinues, P., Capturing in vivo plant metabolism by real time analysis of low to high molecular weight volatiles. Anal. Chem. 2016, 88 (4), 2406-12.

5.    Barrios-Collado, C.; Vidal-de-Miguel, G.; Martinez-Lozano Sinues, P., Numerical Modeling and Experimental Validation of a Universal Secondary Electrospray Ionization Source for Mass Spectrometric Gas Analysis in Real-Time. Sensors Actuators B: Chem. 2016, 223, 217–225.

6.    Li, X.; Martinez-Lozano Sinues, P.; Dallmann, R.; Bregy, L.; Hollmén, M.; Proulx, S.; Brown, S. A.; Detmar, M.; Kohler, M.; Zenobi, R. Drug pharmacokinetics determined by real-time analysis of mouse breath. Angew. Chem. 2015, 54 (27), 7815-8.


  1. Martinez-Lozano Sinues, P.; Fernandez de la Mora, J. Method to analyze and classify persons and organisms based on odor patterns from released vapors; US 9,121,844 B1. 2015
  2. Gomez Moreno, F. J.; Martinez-Lozano Sinues, P.; Martin Espigares, M. System to reduce the pressure drop in a differential mobility analyzer; US 8,071,940 B2. 2011

Open Positions

New! Ph.D. Position on Mass Spectrometry-Based Analysis of Metabolites, University of Basel, Switzerland. Further details

Master and Semester Projects

We offer the opportunity to make master and semester projects in the areas of breath analysis with Secondary Electrospray Ionization-Mass Spectrometry (SESI-MS)

If you are interested, please send applications with CV and grade transcripts to Prof. Dr. Pablo M-L Sinues.

Outrearch Activities

Only available in German


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* Wir nutzen zur besseren Lesbarkeit jeweils nur die männliche Form. Selbstverständlich sind jedoch Frauen und Männer gleichermassen angesprochen.


Universitäts-Kinderspital beider
Basel, Spitalstrasse 33
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Tel. +41 61 704 12 12

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