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Micro-Pyrolizer for Rapid Bio-Identification

Sandia National Laboratories

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PDF Document PublicationMarket Sheet (822 KB)

Differentiation based on various Bio-IDs
Differentiation based on various Bio-IDs

The micro-pyrolizer is an element of Sandia's Lab-on-a-Chip technology
The micro-pyrolizer is an element of Sandia's Lab-on-a-Chip technology

Technology Marketing SummarySandia has developed a micro-fabricated device for identifying different organisms by their unique chemical “fingerprint” based on fatty acid (lipid) content. Applications can include food composition testing (testing the purity of Extra Virgin Olive Oil), microbe analysis (e.g. Anthrax and virulent bacteria), high value/specialty crop verification (designer seeds, bio-fuels), and unknown substance testing.DescriptionTraditional methods for isolating fatty acids for are time-consuming and use large volumes of organic solvents. However, Sandia’s micro-pyrolizer quickly turns fatty acids into volatile esters for separation and measurement in a gas chromatograph (GC) or ion mobility spectrometer (IMS). The resulting pattern of relative amounts of fatty acids can identify particular species.
This technology has been shown to be effective in distinguishing bacteria at the gram-type, genera, and sometimes species levels. The chart above shows the fatty acid content of two bacteria measured by Sandia’s rapid-pryolysis technology.
  • Microfabricated device suitable for low cost mass production
  • Rapid, on-site identification of bio samples
  • Requires only tiny sample volumes
  • Integrates with lab-on-a-chip style micro-GC
Applications and Industries
  • Agribusiness: crop testing and verification
  • Bio-fuels: plants/algae lipid content
  • Homeland & national security: bio-agent identification
  • Medical: pathogen diagnosis
  • Food products: testing virgin vs. adulterated cooking oil
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 7,078,237
Micropyrolyzer for chemical analysis of liquid and solid samples
A micropyrolyzer has applications to pyrolysis, heated chemistry, and thermal desorption from liquid or solid samples. The micropyrolyzer can be fabricated from semiconductor materials and metals using standard integrated circuit technologies. The micropyrolyzer enables very small volume samples of less than 3 microliters and high sample heating rates of greater than C. per millisecond. A portable analyzer for the field analysis of liquid and solid samples can be realized when the micropyrolyzer is combined with a chemical preconcentrator, chemical separator, and chemical detector. Such a portable analyzer can be used in a variety of government and industrial applications, such as non-proliferation monitoring, chemical and biological warfare detection, industrial process control, water and air quality monitoring, and industrial hygiene.
Sandia National Laboratories 07/18/2006
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
US Patent# 7,078,237DevelopmentAvailable - Various license and partnering options are available. Please contact the Intellectual Property department to discuss. 09/09/201003/12/2013

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