Mass Spectroscopy Based Biological Sample Analysis Using Swabs

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Researchers at Purdue University have developed a new approach to test biological samples with noninvasive, nondestructive swabs. To properly treat conditions such as cancer where cell environments are rapidly changing, it is beneficial for medical professionals to understand cell behavior of each individual patient. Current nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), gas chromatography (GC), liquid chromatography (LC), infrared spectrometry (IR), and traditional mass spectroscopy (MS) techniques either require high sample volume or take a long time for analysis. The approach developed by the Purdue researchers is a new technique (swab spray MS) that includes an ambient ionization method in which a minute amount of sample (e.g. tissue) is transferred to a swab tip by a gentle touch, and subsequently ionized with the application of solvent to the swab tip and of high voltage to the swab shaft. A range of tissues such as neurological, cancerous or deep surgical wound tissue can be analyzed by this method and unlike other technologies the process does not affect areas where surgery might be performed.


-Cancer & Neurological Tissue Analysis
Aug 13, 2018
Utility Patent
United States
May 4, 2021

Apr 5, 2021
CON-Gov. Funding
United States

Aug 28, 2017
United States
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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