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Automated Surface Sampling Probe for Mass Spectrometry

Mass Spectrometry Imaging for Drug Discovery and Pharmaceutical Research

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing Summary

Dr. Gary Van Berkel and colleagues have developed a liquid microjunction surface sampling probe (LMJ?SSP). The LMJ?SSP provides mass spectrometry with a simple and efficient ambient surface sampling method that can be coupled with any liquid introduction ionization source.



The LMJ?SSP includes a user?friendly software interface to control the movement of the surface during analysis and provides tools to mine and display the data collected. The automated LMJ?SSP system allows discrete spot sampling and continuous sampling during line scans, for rapid qualitative and quantitative screening of samples from surfaces in targeted and discovery detection modes.

  • Rapid spot sampling, line scanning and chemical imaging of analytes from a variety of surfaces.
  • Incorporates into existing commercial ambient ion sources for manual spot sampling via a low cost handheld SSP “wand”.
  • Prototype “plug and play” automated source demonstrated with components that provide for competitive pricing.
Applications and Industries

Selected publications

  • “Liquid Micro?Junction Surface Sampling Probe Electrospray Mass Spectrometry for Detection of Drugs and Metabolites in Thin Tissue Sections,” J. Mass Spectrom., 2008, 43, 500?508.
  • “Evaluation of a Surface Sampling Probe Electrospray Mass Spectrometry System for the Analysis of Surface Deposited and Affinity Captured Proteins.” Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 2006, 20, 1144?1152.
  • “Thin?Layer Chromatography and Electrospray Mass Spectrometry Coupled using a Surface Sampling Probe,” Anal. Chem. 2002, 74, 6216?6223.
  • US and Foreign Patents and Copyrighted Software
More Information

Sampling Probe for Microarray Read Out Using Electrospray Mass Spectrometry (UTB ? ID 1009), US Patent 6,803,566
Automated Control for a Liquid Microjunction Sampler (UTB ? ID 1525, 1833, and 1869) US Patent 7,295,026
Handsfree Surface Analysis Software, US Copyright Registration

Lead Inventor
Dr. Gary Van Berkel

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 7,295,026
Automated position control of a surface array relative to a liquid microjunction surface sampler
A system and method utilizes an image analysis approach for controlling the probe-to-surface distance of a liquid junction-based surface sampling system for use with mass spectrometric detection. Such an approach enables a hands-free formation of the liquid microjunction used to sample solution composition from the surface and for re-optimization, as necessary, of the microjunction thickness during a surface scan to achieve a fully automated surface sampling system.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory 11/13/2007
Patent 6,803,566
Sampling probe for microarray read out using electrospray mass spectrometry
An automated electrospray based sampling system and method for analysis obtains samples from surface array spots having analytes. The system includes at least one probe, the probe including an inlet for flowing at least one eluting solvent to respective ones of a plurality of spots and an outlet for directing the analyte away from the spots. An automatic positioning system is provided for translating the probe relative to the spots to permit sampling of any spot. An electrospray ion source having an input fluidicly connected to the probe receives the analyte and generates ions from the analyte. The ion source provides the generated ions to a structure for analysis to identify the analyte, preferably being a mass spectrometer. The probe can be a surface contact probe, where the probe forms an enclosing seal along the periphery of the array spot surface.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory 10/12/2004
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
1009, 1525, 1833, 1869DevelopmentAvailable09/24/201209/24/2012

Contact ORNL About This Technology

To: Jennifer Tonzello Caldwell, Ph.D.<>