STTR Phase II: Novel Ionization Process for Materials Characterization using Mass Spectrometry
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II project will be the discovery of new ionization technology for use with mass spectrometry. This technology will enable lower cost, lower energy use, and reduced user expertise, which may potentially drive mass spectrometry into large and underserved markets such as medical diagnostics and field portable instruments designed specifically for use in homeland security, bedside diagnostics, or bio-threat detection. The new technology changes the current understanding of ionization processes used in mass spectrometry and provides opportunities for new innovations to advance science through improved measurements, impacting fields such as health, safety, and security. The aims of this Phase II project are to develop interfaces to incorporate the platform developed in Phase I on most major mass spectrometer manufacturer's instruments and to develop technologies for rapid automate analyses even of surfaces. The research of Phase II is aimed to better understand the fundamentals of this new technology in order to drive commercial success in high sensitivity rapid analyses at a competitive price. Mass spectrometers are widely used representing a $4 billion industry of which ionization technology represents a significant commercial opportunity.This STTR Phase II project proposes to revolutionize ionization in mass spectrometry by providing commercial products that utilize a simple and powerful ionization technology. The newly discovered process spontaneously converts large and small, volatile and nonvolatile compounds to the gas-phase ions necessary for analysis using mass spectrometry without employing currently used high cost lasers or high voltage. The method is broadly applicable for analysis of compounds such as drugs, lipids, carbohydrate conjugates, peptides, and proteins directly from bodily fluids or tissue, as well as synthetic polymers and inorganic catalytic surfaces. This technology is anticipated to augment or even replace older ionization methods in applications such as clinical analyses, pharmaceuticals, forensics, environmental, and food safety. The aims of the Phase II project are to implement the multifunctional platform developed during Phase I on a variety of manufacturer's instruments, automate the process to allow lower cost and faster analyses, and provide an automated surface analysis platform. Besides determining the best sample preparation methodologies and choice of solvents/matrices, the research objectives include innovative automated sample introduction technologies that eliminate the need for a conventional "ion source" while reducing the pumping requirements, which currently hinder development of small, low-cost portable mass spectrometers.
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase II project will be the discovery of new ionization technology for use with mass spectrometry. This technology will enable lower cost, lower energy use, and reduced user expertise, which may potentially drive mass spectrometry into large and underserved markets such as medical diagnostics and field portable instruments designed specifically for use in homeland security, bedside diagnostics, or bio-threat detection. The new techn...
Development of new ionization technology for mass spectrometry being commercialized during Phase II. MSTM has developed platforms, including automation for these simple and highly sensitive methods. Our desire is to demonstrate their applicability to a variety of analytical challenges.
Of special interest is in metabolomics, analysis of large data sets with chemometrics, and in general biological analytical challenges. The successful candidate must work with a diversified team of scientist and postdoctoral fellows employed through MSTM as well as with potential customers, especially in demonstrating capabilities. The location of the laboratory for this position is at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Some travel is to be expected.
PhD degree in analytical chemistry with some background in mass spectrometry. The ability to use chemometrics with large data sets obtained by direct MS analysis is critical. Background in metabolomics and biological sample protocols is also needed. Having an understanding of the new matrix- and solvent-assisted ionization technologies is a definite plus. The successful candidate will have an outgoing positive work attitude and skills in interacting with potential customers and in promoting the company.
Small Business Postdoctoral Research Diversity Fellowship Program
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