Researchers at Purdue have created a miniature mass spectrometer that promises to have applications in everything from airport security to medical diagnostics. Pictured here is the latest prototype, the Mini 10 portable mass spectrometer, which is roughly the size of a shoebox and can easily be carried with one hand. The instrument is 13.5 inches long by 8.5 inches wide by 7.5 inches tall and weighs 10 kilograms (22 pounds), compared to about 30 times that weight for a conventional mass spectrometer. It also can run on battery power. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)
Researchers at Purdue University have shown how a new ultra-fast chemical-analysis tool has numerous promising uses for detecting everything from cancer in the liver to explosives residues on luggage and "biomarkers" in urine that provide an early warning for diseases.
The analytical chemists have most recently demonstrated how the technology, called desorption electrospray ionization, or DESI, rapidly detects the boundaries of cancerous tumors, information that could help ensure that surgeons remove the entire tumor.
"I wouldn’t be surprised if pathologists are using this in operating rooms within two years," said R. Graham Cooks, the Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry in Purdue’s College of Science.
Emil Venere | EurekAlert!
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