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Biological Sciences Division
Staff Awards & Honors

December 2012

Alex Shvartsburg, Keqi Tang Win FLC Tech Transfer Award

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Keqi Tang

Congratulations to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists Dr. Alex Shvartsburg and Dr. Keqi Tang for winning a 2013 Federal Laboratory Consortium Excellence in Technology Transfer Award. The award is for the Next-Generation Microchip Ion Mobility Spectrometer, a dime-sized device that accelerates ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) separations by more than 100 times. It enables extremely rapid monitoring of a broad range of chemicals in minute concentrations.

The IMS microchips were made possible by cutting-edge microfabrication techniques invented and perfected by Owlstone Nanotech, joint recipient of the award, leveraging the scientific and technical knowledge transferred by PNNL. Owlstone developed the first-ever commercial microchip IMS/mass spectrometry (MS) system that led to these next-generation IMS chips, which meet the performance requirements of practical biological analyses.

This chip IMS/MS platform is much faster, easier, and safer to use and has better sensitivity, dynamic range, and operational flexibility than preceding platforms. This instrument is now in the process of being commercialized by Agilent-a major vendor of analytical equipment worldwide. The initial version of the chip won an R&D 100 Award for PNNL and Owlstone in 2010.

The FLC is a nationwide network that encourages federal laboratories to transfer lab-developed technologies to the marketplace. The award will be presented in April at the Consortium's annual meeting in Westminster, Colorado.

See the PNNL News Release.

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