AB Sciex and the University of Wollongong (UOW) in Australia have established a partnership to develop a lipid structural analysis platform based on the university’s OzID (ozone induced dissociation) technology. Under terms of the collaboration AB Sciex has an exclusive license to OzID, a method that uses mass spectrometry and ozone to first separate lipid components out of complex mixtures and then cut them at the position of double bonds.

“This allows an unambiguous assignment of the compound structure and, importantly, differentiates molecules that vary only by the position of their double bonds,” explains principal investigator Stephen Blanksby, at the UOW’s School of Chemistry. “Learning more about the molecular distribution of lipids in complex biological samples may provide a greater understanding of lipid metabolism, its role in health and disease, and potential ways to prevent or manage diseases.”

A multidisciplinary AB Sciex and UOW research team will receive funding from an ARC Linkage Project grant to develop a standardized procedure for determining double bond positions in lipids, and explore natural lipid functions in areas such as energy storage, cell membrane structure, and hormone signaling.

“Lipid research is a fast-growing area in need of new breakthroughs to advance the impact that lipidomics can have on biological studies,” adds Ron Bonner, principal scientist at AB Sciex. “We see a great opportunity of applying cutting-edge intellectual property by working with forward-thinking researchers at the University of Wollongong to take innovative ideas such as OzID from the idea phase to market.”

AB Sciex’ collaboration with the UOW is part of the firm’s new Academic Partnership Program, an initiative designed to support the development of IP originating in academia, and which provides access to technical expertise and support in mass spectrometry and chromatography. 

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