The smell of lung disease: a review of the current status of electronic nose technology

I. G. van der Sar, N. Wijbenga, G. Nakshbandi, J. G.J.V. Aerts, O. C. Manintveld, M. S. Wijsenbeek, M. E. Hellemons, C. C. Moor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
108 Downloads (Pure)


There is a need for timely, accurate diagnosis, and personalised management in lung diseases. Exhaled breath reflects inflammatory and metabolic processes in the human body, especially in the lungs. The analysis of exhaled breath using electronic nose (eNose) technology has gained increasing attention in the past years. This technique has great potential to be used in clinical practice as a real-time non-invasive diagnostic tool, and for monitoring disease course and therapeutic effects. To date, multiple eNoses have been developed and evaluated in clinical studies across a wide spectrum of lung diseases, mainly for diagnostic purposes. Heterogeneity in study design, analysis techniques, and differences between eNose devices currently hamper generalization and comparison of study results. Moreover, many pilot studies have been performed, while validation and implementation studies are scarce. These studies are needed before implementation in clinical practice can be realised. This review summarises the technical aspects of available eNose devices and the available evidence for clinical application of eNose technology in different lung diseases. Furthermore, recommendations for future research to pave the way for clinical implementation of eNose technology are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number246
Number of pages22
JournalRespiratory Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

The authors wish to thank dr. Sabrina T.G. Meertens-Gunput from the Erasmus MC Medical Library for developing and updating the search strategies.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


Dive into the research topics of 'The smell of lung disease: a review of the current status of electronic nose technology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this