Metabolomics – A New Method for the Chemical Derivatization of Low Molecular Weight Metabolites – Indicators of Disease (Case 2103)

Principal Investigator:


Jason Sello, PhD,  Associate Professor

Department of Chemistry

Brown University

Providence, RI


Brief Description:


Current metabolomics analyses require the simultaneous identification and/or characterization of hundreds to thousands of metabolites in complex samples as indicators of disease.  Isolation and detection techniques are required, and a common strategy is to chemically derivatize metabolites to impart physiochemical properties in order to simplify and facilitate analysis.  However, structural diversity of metabolites in these complex samples makes it impossible to have a single derivatization method.

The technology offered here is a new method in the form of a chemoselective reaction performed with commercially available reagents or easily prepared substrates that can chemically derivatize metabolites containing amines, carboxylic acids, aldehyde, or ketones.  This water-compatible reaction is operationally simply, can take place in one vessel, and yields stable and separable products for easy characterization with existing analytic instrumentation.  The novel method is generally high yielding and has a broad substrate scope that enables most metabolites containing one or more functional groups to participate in the reaction.  This innovation is chemoselective by judicious selection of reactants and stoichiometry.  In summary, the method has a considerable advantage over existing methods that lack one or more of these beneficial characteristics of simplicity, conditions, robustness, flexibility and scope.

Relevant markets with applications include: clinical diagnostics of multiple diseases and disorders; basic biological research in physiology, systems biology and functional genomics; drug discovery and clinical development to identify drug targets, screening compounds and for use in toxicology studies; and other clinical drug/chemical testing laboratories.




US patent 9,057,698 is issued (06/16/2015).


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Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Brown Technology Innovations
350 Eddy Street - Box 1949
Providence, RI 02903
Jason Sello
Babajide Okandeji
Kyle Totaro
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