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  1. Licensing and Collaboration Opportunities

Direct Impact Spark Ionization (DISI) Mass Spectrometry (MS) for Identification of Microbes

Generating reproducible mass spectra from bacterial samples in a timely fashion at atmospheric pressure remained problematic for many years. FDA/NCTR inventors designed a rapid mass spectrometry device using direct impact spark ionization source for microbial analytes identification via spectral pattern recognition. The device design includes a rapid mass spectrometer suitable for analyzing microbiological samples that was earlier used to analyze low volatile organic compounds. The device employs a solid needle for electrode discharge. It includes a gear plate that introduces stainless steel pins carrying bacterial samples. The pins also act as counter electrodes and are targeted by controlled arcs. The small custom-made glass cylinder that is meant to shut out oxygen and prevent the introduction of ambient moisture into the analyte is unique from other DISI device. The examination revealed enormous peak intensity and spectral information with normal ionization mode on the same instrument. This device can be employed in fields such as pathogen determination in clinical settings, QA/QC (of drugs, food or cosmetic ingredients), continuous monitoring of (airborne) Biological Warfare Agents and the like.

Potential Commercial Applications:

  • Pathogen detection,
  • QA/QC (of drugs, food or cosmetic ingredients),
  • Continuous monitoring of (airborne) Biological Warfare Agents and the like.

Competitive Advantages:

  • Rapid, specific, sensitive and reproducible identification of microbiological analytes
  • Systematic acquisition of reproducible spectra among same bacterial species
  • Whole cell analysis of food-borne pathogens is rapid, safer and micro-reliable
  • Characteristic mass spectra obtained and reproduced for food-borne pathogens
  • Unique DISI device with gas cylinder chamber

Related Invention(s):

Jon Wilkes
Pierre Alusta
Cameron Dorey
Ryan Parker
Dan Buzatu

Intellectual Property:
US Patent No: 8,704,169

Collaboration Opportunity:
The NCTR/FDA inventors are seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize this device. For collaboration opportunities, please contact Alice Y. Welch, Ph.D. at Alice.Welch@fda.hhs.gov.

Licensing Contact:
Bill Ronnenberg, JD-MIP, MS
FDA Technology Transfer Program
10903 New Hampshire Ave.
Building WO1, Rm 4214
Silver Spring, MD 20993
Email: FDAInventionlicensing@fda.hhs.gov
Phone: 240-402-4561

OTT Reference No: E-258-2011/0
Updated: August 6, 2015