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Astrotech Subsidiary Awarded US Patent for Novel Mass Spectrometer Ion Trap Control Technology


1st Detect Corporation, a subsidiary of Astrotech Corporation (NASDAQ: ASTC), announced today that the United States Patent Office ("USPTO") has allowed the issuance of a key patent for the company's unique method to miniaturize the electrical circuitry for a mass spectrometer ion trap used for chemical analysis and detection.

"We are extremely pleased that the USPTO has allowed this patent. This patent is an important component of our intellectual property portfolio as it allows 1st Detect to miniaturize mass spectrometers without sacrificing performance," said Thomas B Pickens III, Chairman and CEO of 1st Detect. "The patent clearly validates our technology and both demonstrates and protects the progress we have made in the development of the 1st Detect Miniature Mass Spectrometer."

The patent, entitled "End Cap Voltage Control of Ion Traps", published as USPTO No. 8,334,506, represents a key technological advantage for 1st Detect to optimize the operation of an ion trap using compact and efficient circuitry.

"The technology protected by this patent supports our objective to offer the most affordable, high performance miniature mass spectrometer for both laboratory and field applications," added David Rafferty, the inventor of the novel technology and President and CTO of

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