Surface-Modified Electrospray Needles for Mass Spectrometry

Case ID:

With this invention, electrospray needles used in mass spectrometry are coated to prevent sticking and clogging of analytes, resulting in improved mass detection sensitivity and consistency of analysis. The coating comprises an organic material covalently bonded to an interior surface of the electrospray needle.  The coating is electrically non-conductive and non-ionizable.

Mass spectrometry (MS) analyses are used in many applications, including in the development of pharmaceuticals, detection of proteins, viruses, or biomarkers in blood, and trace gas analysis.  In MS, samples are ionized and delivered to the spectrometer. The method of nano-electrospray ionization, which uses a tiny needle, are to known to have challenges with durability and consistency of results for analytes such as biomolecules due to a tendency to adhere to the inner walls of the needle, resulting in measurement variability.


  • Mass spectrometry for "sticky" analytes, including biomolecules


  • Prevents analytes from sticking to needle surface
  • Improved sensitivity
  • Improved stability
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Jonathan Larson
Senior Licensing Manager, College of Science
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Michael Marty
Craig Aspinwall
Marius Kostelic
Chih-Chieh Hsieh