Professor Buddy Ratner’s Latest Device Delivers Nutrition Diagnosis in Minutes

PPAMS device connected to a tablet computer

Image Courtesy Mary Levin

UW Bioengineering Professor Buddy Ratner believes his lab’s latest device could be a powerful tool, capable of addressing health and child development issues by delivering a blood test in minutes to some of the most remote parts of the globe.

While it looks like something you might use to light a barbecue, the Plasma Pencil Atmospheric Mass Spectrometer (PPAMS) is really a sophisticated tool that rapidly measures micronutrients – zinc, iron, folate, vitamin A and iodine. The results can then be displayed on a mobile phone or tablet computer within minutes, instead of the 24 hours typically required.

Ratner, who led the team that invented this new tool, says the University of Washington is currently pursuing a patent on the PPAMS device.

Buddy Ratner is a professor and the Michael L. & Myrna Darland Endowed Chair in Technology Commercialization. He is also a 2011 UW Presidential Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellow. Fellows are recognized based on their achievements in translating research into products and therapies, initiating groundbreaking programs for translation, or for supporting collaboration with industry.


Read more about Buddy Ratner’s Plasma Pencil on UW Today

Learn more about NIH’s Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development Program

Watch a video segment from Q13 Fox News on Professor Ratner’s Device