Research Foundation News

September 19, 2017

Spectrometers could improve point-of-care patient diagnosis

Ouyang purspec Xiao Wang, a doctoral graduate student, from left, and Zheng Ouyang, professor of biomedical engineering at Purdue University, 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. (Purdue Research Foundation photo) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – 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.

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,” said 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 said 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,” he said.

Ouyang and R. 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 facilities the surgeon’s decision making for tumor removal.

For additional information about PURSPEC, click here. To learn more about the Office of Technology Commercialization, click here.

About PURSPEC Technologies Inc.

PURSPEC develops innovative technologies to meet onsite bioanalytical demands.  PURSPEC provides complete solutions with simple procedures for complex mixture analysis.  With expertise in miniature mass spectrometer and ambient ionization, Purspec aims to help clients form a plethora of fields to achieve their goals, including clinical diagnosis, food safety regulation, environmental monitoring, forensics and pharmaceutical drug development.

About Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university's academic activities. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2016 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Innovation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information about funding and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at

Writer: Lyna Landis, 765-588-3575, 

Source: Zheng Ouyang,

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