A continuous wave, thermoelectrically cooled, distributed feedback quantum cascade laser (DFB-QCL) based sensor platform for the quantitative detection of ammonia (NH3) concentrations present in exhaled human breath is reported. The NH3 concentration measurements are performed with a 2f wavelength modulation quartz enhanced photoacoustic spectroscopy (QEPAS) technique, which is very well suited for real time breath analysis, due to the fast gas exchange inside a compact QEPAS gas cell. An air-cooled DFB-QCL was designed to target the interference-free NH3 absorption line located at 967.35 cm-1 (λ~10.34 μm). The laser is operated at 17.5 °C, emitting ~ 24 mW of optical power at the selected wavelength. A 1σ minimum detectable concentration of ammonia for the line-locked NH3 sensor is ~ 6 ppb with 1 sec time resolution. The NH3 sensor, packaged in a 12"x14"x10" housing, is currently installed at a medical breath research center in Bethlehem, PA and tested as an instrument for non-invasive verification of liver and kidney disorders based on human breath samples.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.