Trace concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in human exhale have been reported for their potential as biomarkers for detection and monitoring of various disease states. This paper discusses design of a dual ultraviolet photoionization source-based compact differential mobility sensor (DMS) for detection of trace VOCs, such as acetone and hexane. The DMS sensor demonstrated a sub-parts per million level detection limit for acetone and hexane as estimated for signal-to-noise ratio of 3. Results of experiment performed for detection of trace concentrations of acetone in human exhaled air from a few normal and diabetic volunteers are also described. It was observed that acetone concentration in human breath for the volunteers show good correlation with blood glucose measurements as recorded with glucometer. © 2001-2012 IEEE.