SBIR Phase I: A Surface Acoustic Wave Based Ion Source
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
5341 Ballard Avenue NW, Seattle, WA, 98107-4061
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will improve the performance of Surface Acoustic Wave Nebulization (SAWN) for use with mass spectrometers. Mass spectrometry (MS) is a widely used method to measure chemical composition; i.e. what chemical elements (e.g. C, N, S, O) are in a given molecule and how are they configured structurally. For MS analysis chemical compounds must be moved from the laboratory environment to the MS instrument by a method known as ionization. The development of SAWN provides a novel means to ionize chemical compounds that combines the performance characteristics of electrospray ionization (ESI) with the ease of use of matrix assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI). The broader/commercial impacts of this research are to position SAWN as a commercially viable ionization platform. The simplicity of SAWN, which operates on a planar surface with very low energy requirements and no moving parts, will provide a platform that sits between the two popular methods ESI and MALDI. The simplicity in design makes it more readily deployable to mobile laboratories than ESI and MALDI. An improved SAWN device will have a broad impact on multiple areas of science that rely on MS for quantitative and qualitative measurements, ranging from food science, forensics, life sciences and clinical medicine. Specifically, the lower level of energy required by SAWN to produce ions means that it is better able to detect chemical compounds that are destroyed by ESI and MALDI.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.