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AB Sciex, U. of Wollongong Partner on Lipidomics Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – AB Sciex and the University of Wollongong in Australia today announced a research partnership aimed at developing lipid analysis capabilities.

The deal provides AB Sciex, a Danaher company, with an exclusive license to the university's ozone-induced dissociation, or OzID, intellectual property, a technology that allows for a better understanding of lipid structure more quickly and in greater detail than is possible with other technologies.

As part of the research that will be carried out, double-bond positions in lipids will be more definitively and comprehensively identified, the partners said. With funding from an Australian Research Council's Linkage Project grant, researchers from the university and AB Sciex will strive to develop a standardized procedure for determining the position of such bonds.

The ARC Linkage Project provides funding to higher education researchers and other organizations "to acquire new knowledge," according to ARC's website.

The partners' work will include investigating lipid functions in the human body, such as energy storage, cell membrane structure, and hormone signaling.

Changes in lipid metabolism have been associated with global health issues, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers, said Todd Mitchell, a researcher at the University of Wollongong and a principal investigator in the research to be carried out as part of today's announcement.

Stephen Blanksby, associate professor at the university's School of Chemistry and a principal investigator, said that the OzID technology leverages mass spectrometry to separate one lipid compound from hundreds and then uses ozone to cut the molecule at a particular position, "namely a double bond. This allows an unambiguous assignment of the compound structure and, importantly, differentiates molecules that vary only by the position of their double bonds," he said in a statement

"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," Blanksby added.

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

The partnership is part of the company's new Academic Partnership Program, which is "designed to provide access to technical expertise and support in mass spectrometry and chromatography," said AB Sciex.