AB Sciex Licenses ORNL Inventions
Government facilities in Oak Ridge Tennessee have a 60 year long history in mass spectrometry, beginning with the Calutrons used for isotope separation during the 1940's. Today Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has one of the largest, most diverse and highly recognized mass spectrometry programs in the world, carrying out fundamental research, instrument development and applications for the Department of Energy (DOE). Mass spectrometry at ORNL is important to the DOE Laboratory’s mission and agenda, specifically in areas from protein and DNA analysis (Complex Biological Systems) to surface analysis and characterization (Advanced Materials) to environmental assessment and remediation (Energy and Environmental Systems of the Future) to chemical and biological threat detection (National Security).
Dr. Gary Van Berkel and Dr. Vilmos Kertesz at ORNL developed a novel sampling system for mass spectrometry that is of interest to a variety of industries, including these growing industries in life sciences, environmental sciences, and national security. This sampling system includes a liquid microjuntion surface sampling probe (SSP) that provides mass spectrometry with a simple and efficient ambient surface sampling method that can be coupled with any liquid introduction source. The SSP system allows discrete spot sampling and continuous sampling during line scan, for rapid qualitative and quantitative screening of samples from surfaces in targeted and discovery detection modes. ORNL has partnered with industry for several years to address the needs of mass spectrometer producers and end users.
As the contractor of ORNL, UT-Battelle LLC (UTB) has developed industrial relationships that have relied on the dedication of the inventors and the technology transfer office. These commercial partnerships have thrived under CRADAs, Material Service Orders (MSOF) for work for others, and Best-Testing relationships to explore commercial applications. UT-Battelle’s Privately Funded Technology Transfer (PFTT) Program at ORNL has invested private funds to commercialize inventions related to this technology, and specifically provided key maturation funding that facilitated licensing interest and strategic patenting necessary to address the market needs of mass spectrometry for a licensee. This collaboration between the Lab’s S&T group and technology transfer lead to the exclusive patent licensed for five PFTT inventions based on the surface sampling probe to DH Technologies Pte. Ltd, an affiliate of Danaher Corporation, for the commercialization of this technology portfolio by AB Sciex, a global leader in life science analytical technologies. The ORNL patent portfolio is sublicensed to Advion BioSystems, Inc. and leverages the ORNL technology in the Advion TriVersa NanoMate product lines.