Leading by Example
Sitting Down With… Livia Eberlin, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, The University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA
You’re perhaps best known for developing the MasSpec Pen. Care to tell us more?
It’s a handheld MS device capable of detecting cancer. The pen comprises a tip containing three channels that meet at a reservoir where a solvent droplet – typically water – is formed and interacts with a sample such as a tissue to extract molecules – lipids, metabolites, and proteins – from the sample. A tubing system then transports the droplet from the tip of the pen to the mass spectrometer for analysis. The whole process is automated – incorporating microcontrollers to ensure precise control of the operational steps. Plus, the system is biocompatible and safe to use in human patients.
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