A Universal Method For Quantifying Proteins, Small Molecules, Lipids, And Electrolytes

Tech ID: 30364 / UC Case 2018-460-0


UCLA scientists in the Departments of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences and Human Genetics have developed a novel method for the simultaneous quantification of proteins, small molecules, lipids, and electrolytes.


The development of proteomic and metabolomic technologies has significantly advanced biomedical research.  Current strategies to understand biochemical composition involve individual, specialized analyses to separately quantify proteins, metabolites, lipids, electrolytes, drugs, and medications.  When each data set is considered in the larger context of the other analyses, a clearer picture of disease pathology may be established.  Currently, these laboratory tests are performed separately, demanding increased time and resources, ultimately culminating in higher costs.  The drain on resources is greatest for cases that require uncommon or rare analyses.  Therefore, a combination of these analyses into one quantification method would result in a more streamlined diagnostic or research method, with decreased financial burden and increased information content.


UCLA scientists have created a method to simultaneously quantify a wide range of chemical species including proteins, small molecules (metabolites, drugs, medications, etc.), lipids, and electrolytes, using liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry.  This method has potential applications in both the research and clinical laboratory settings.  The merger of multiple analyses into one procedure may serve as a cost-effective alternative to employing multiple separate procedures for different types of compounds.  Compared to current technologies, this method captures a wider scope of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental influences, yielding at no additional cost a greater amount of clinically-relevant information.  The combination of multiple tests into one analysis can improve diagnostic accuracy through multi-analyte test panels, and may dramatically reduce the cost for patients requiring uncommon laboratory tests through price bundling, opening the door to widespread preventative screening that is not possible with more specialized protocols.


  • Simultaneous quantification of proteins, small molecules, lipids, and electrolytes in biological samples
  • Widespread preventative screening and diagnostics


  • Single platform to quantify various classes of molecules instead of separately analyzing each type
  • Cost-effective alternative to multiple diagnostic laboratory tests
  • Data captures genetic, lifestyle, and environmental influences, giving a wider scope of information

State Of Development

This platform has been successfully tested on various samples including plasma, urine, cells, and tissues.

Patent Status

Patent Pending


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  • Faull, Kym F.

Other Information


mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, LC-MS, proteomics, metabolomics, fragmentation spectra, peptide identification, drug quantitation, screening, diagnostics, biomarkers, biomarker development

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