Maryland Patent of the Month – November 2021

Mass spectrometry is an analytical technique used to measure the mass-to-charge ratio of ions. This is done using specialized equipment capable of measuring multiple analytes. These mass spectrometers, however, are known to face difficulty in preparing samples for effective ionization – especially when those samples are from environmental sources. Zeteo Tech, Inc. has designed a time of flight mass spectrometer that seeks to improve on these limitations.

Zeteo Tech’s mass spectrometer can identify airborne microbes, proteins and lipids, and can screen for infectious diseases. Their design uses a backing plate which couples to the core sampling-container. It also uses an acceleration region to accelerate ions in a two-stage acceleration process. It can deliver any surface ionization method including through laser desorption, matrix assisted laser ionization, atmospheric pressure and more. This ionizing design does not require any sample pre-processing. Samples can be added from their origin directly into the mass analyzer which greatly simplifies the process. In other designs, these samples would need to be processed by dissolving it into a slurry or other variations on this. A time of flight mass analyzer is then employed to separate the ions according to their mass-to-charge ratio by measuring the time it takes generated ions to travel to a detector. This analyzer is relatively simple but offers an unlimited range for mass-to-charge ratio.

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