From left: Xiao Wang, a doctoral graduate student, and Zheng Ouyang, professor of chemistry, biomedical engineering, and electrical and computer
engineering, examine the electronics for a prototype miniature mass spectrometer. (Purdue Research Foundation photo)
Purdue-related startup develops
MINIATURE DEVICE FOR BIOMEDICAL ANALYSIS
The founder of an analytical device startup based on Purdue
University innovations says his company could improve
point-of-care therapy diagnosis and compliance by reducing
the time it takes to analyze samples by mass spectrometry.
Zheng Ouyang, president and founder of PURSPEC
Technologies Inc., says the company is developing miniature
mass spectrometers, which identify the type and amount of
chemicals present in blood and urine samples, to speed up
the analysis time.
“Traditional mass spectrometry analysis requires sending
samples to a centralized location to conduct the analysis.
This process can take weeks,” says Ouyang, who also is a
professor in Purdue’s Department of Chemistry, Weldon
School of Biomedical Engineering and School of Electrical
and Computer Engineering. “PURSPEC is trying to make a
Ouyang said the device could have an impact on develop-
ing personalized medicine plans for prescription drugs.
“Using a miniature mass spectrometer could provide a
very easy way to adjust the dosage of prescription pharma-
ceuticals. Currently a physician writes a prescription for a
standard dosage, which may not be effective for the
patient,” he says. “With a miniature mass spectrometry sys-
tem, a doctor can prescribe a drug, and then the patient can
take a test dosage at the pharmacy. Within half an hour, the
pharmacist can measure the concentration of the drug in the
patient’s blood and adjust the dosage to more appropriate lev-
els. And if the dosage is appropriate, it could impact a patient’s
Ouyang and R. Graham Cooks, the Henry B. Hass
Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry in Purdue’s
Department of Chemistry, have developed several technolo-
gies to create miniature mass spectrometers.
“TRADITIONAL MASS SPECTROMETRY
ANALYSIS REQUIRES SENDING SAMPLES
TO A CENTRALIZED LOCATION TO CONDUCT
THE ANALYSIS. THIS PROCESS CAN TAKE