Love is in the air...detected by PTR-TOF

Scientists from the German Max Planck Gesellschaft found out that a characteristic signature of volatile molecules is found in the breath of sexually aroused people. The test subjects exhaled less isoprene and carbon dioxide, while the concentration of degradation products of certain neurotransmitters increased.

Love is in the air...detected by PTR-TOF

Image Credit: Ionicon Analytik Ges.m.b.H. 

The breath analysis was carried out with an IONICON PTR-TOF instrument which enables real-time direct injection trace gas analysis with extremely high sensitivity, selectivity and excellent Limits-of-Detection (LoDs).

With the start of an erotic film clip, the amount of various volatile organic compounds in the breath of the aroused participants increased rapidly, other compounds decreased rapidly. In addition, the levels variated less than in the unexcited state.

The fact that the concentration of CO2 and isoprene in the breath decreased could be because the genitals had more blood flow, while the muscles and lungs had less. In men, we found phenol, cresol and indole. These seem to be typical indicators of sexual arousal."

Nijing Wang, Lead Author of the Recently Published Study

The substances are formed during the degradation of the amino acids tryptophan, a precursor substance of the neurotransmitter serotonin, and tyrosine, from which our body forms dopamine and noradrenaline. It is known that these messenger substances play an important role in erotic feelings and are formed quickly. Among other things, they bring people into a euphoric state of mind during sexual arousal.

Studying the signature of eroticism in breath more closely is worthwhile, not least from a medical point of view:

The possibility of non-invasively determining a person's sexual arousal through their breathing would be a great advance for sex research,"

Pedro Nobre, Head of the Sexlab and Professor, University of Porto, Portugal


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Ionicon Analytik Ges.m.b.H.. (2024, April 26). Love is in the air...detected by PTR-TOF. News-Medical. Retrieved on June 20, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Ionicon Analytik Ges.m.b.H.. "Love is in the air...detected by PTR-TOF". News-Medical. 20 June 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Ionicon Analytik Ges.m.b.H.. "Love is in the air...detected by PTR-TOF". News-Medical. (accessed June 20, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Ionicon Analytik Ges.m.b.H.. 2024. Love is in the air...detected by PTR-TOF. News-Medical, viewed 20 June 2024,


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
New IONICON corporate, product & technologies brochure