Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Partnerships and Technology Transfer

Success Stories

AB SCIEX Partners with Advion BioSystems to Commercialize ORNL Sampling System

AB SCIEX, a global leader in life science analytical systems, has exclusively licensed a sampling system for mass spectrometry developed by researchers in Gary Van Berkel’s group at ORNL. AB SCIEX partnered with Advion BioSystems, Inc., a frontrunner in microfluidic systems, which recently launched a liquid extraction surface analysis (LESA) sample analysis system incorporating this ORNL technology. LESA, based on Advion’s chip-based nanoelectrospray platform, the TriVersa NanoMate®, will be used to provide direct mass spectrometric analysis of a variety of sample formats, including tissue and organ samples, thin layer chromatography plates, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization plates, and dried blood spots.

The direct analysis of surfaces by mass spectrometry is a growing and powerful technique. The novel approach and design of the Advion LESA system enable the ability to couple direct analysis of surfaces with the power and breadth of chip-based nanoelectrospray for the first time. This simple-to-use combination allows for soft ionization, thereby preserving fragile molecules such as phase 2 metabolites and allowing unrivalled detection of drugs and their metabolites in tissue and organ samples. Researchers developing new forensic devices, novel drugs, better biofuels, and technologies to strengthen homeland security now have a powerful tool for analyzing a variety of surfaces.

"The launch of this innovative sample analysis system is extremely strategic for our company," said David B. Patteson, CEO of Advion. "This is the result of our working closely with ORNL and AB SCIEX dating back nearly 7 years to early discussions between Jack Henion, our chairman and CSO, and our partners. We expect significant impact from our customers applying this technique to a myriad of sample types and conditions, which to date have been difficult to assay."

ORNL and AB SCIEX have collaborated to advance this work under CRADAs for more than 14 years. They are currently drafting a fourth CRADA to continue to address critical needs in mass spectrometry that will impact work in energy research, drug discovery, forensics, food security, life science, and more. UT-Battelle has also supported the commercialization of this technology under the Privately Funded Technology Transfer program at ORNL and invested more than $250,000 in maturation funds to meet the specific needs of industry, which ultimately led to the licensing of the technology to AB SCIEX and the novel LESA TriVersa NanoMate® sold by Advion.

LESA kit

Left, LESA kit: software, solvent reservoirs, sample plate, lightbox, TriVersa NanoMate. Right, tissue
surface sampling with LESA, TriVersa NanoMate.