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Spectrometers Could Improve Point-of-care Patient Diagnosis

Author: Lyna Landis
Magazine Section: Strategic Growth Initiative
College or School: CoE
Article Type: Article
PURSPEC Technologies Inc., whose miniature spectrometers may improve medical diagnosis and patient compliance by reducing the time needed to analyze samples, has opened offices in the Purdue Research Park.
Xiao Wang, a doctoral graduate student, left, and Zheng Ouyang, professor of biomedical engineering, examine the electronics for a prototype miniature mass spectrometer developed by Ouyang. Ouyang has licensed intellectual property from Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization to found the startup PURSPEC Technologies to develop and market the device.

PURSPEC also has locations in Beijing and Shanghai.

The miniature spectrometers developed by PURSPEC can be used to identify the type and amount of chemicals present in blood and urine samples in place of conventional mass spectrometry.

“Being able to check levels at the point of care instead of sending samples to a centralized location saves valuable time and enables physicians to make a diagnosis or determine a course of treatment more quickly,” says Zheng Ouyang, president and founder of PURSPEC. “The reduced time means physicians can get answers promptly and move treatment to the next level so the patient receives more expedient care, which can be critical in some circumstances.”

Ouyang is an adjunct professor at Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue and a professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Ouyang says the spectrometers developed by PURSPEC have other benefits as well. “PURSPEC spectrometers can have a tremendous impact on the level of care that a patient receives. After the doctor prescribes the standard dosage for the medication, the pharmacist administers the dosage and waits 30 minutes for test results. Once levels are tested to ensure that the patient response is optimal, dosage can be adjusted if needed.”

Ouyang and Graham Cooks, the Henry B. Hass Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry in Purdue’s Department of Chemistry, have developed and licensed several mass spectrometry technologies through the Purdue Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization. PURSPEC has been working with Professor Cooks on intraoperative assessment that facilitates the surgeon’s decision making for tumor removal.