Our Technology

Zeteo Tech is developing a series of time-of-flight mass spectrometers for measurement of high molecular weight, non-volatile bio-active chemicals and biomarkers of airborne disease. We are focused on sampling bioaerosol from the ambient air or exhaled breath. When sampling exhaled breath, we focus on analyzing the bioaerosol from deep in the lung.

Zeteo Tech has licensed its digitalMALDI® techology to BioFlyte, Inc. for commercial production of fieldable mass spectrometers and other products.

How Does MALDI Work?

MALDI mass spectrometry uses a matrix chemical, which is coated onto or mixed with to the bioaerosol. An ultraviolet laser pulse is used to desorb and ionize the high molecular weight, non-volatile biomarkers in the bioaerosol. The vapor phase ions are then accelerated to the detector, and the heavy ions arrive after the smaller, lighter ions. Thus, the time-of-flight can be related directly to the ion mass. The acronym MALDI is used to name this ionization process: matrix-¬assisted, laser desorption and ionization, or MALDI. MALDI mass spectrometry for biomarker identification was pioneered in late 1980s as is now used world-wide as the gold standard in clinical laboratories for bacterial identification.

A major challenge with MALDI mass spectrometry arises when the sample to be analyzed is cluttered with a high density of background microbes and biochemicals. In other words, a large amount of clutter in a sample will make it more challenging to determine if a smaller quantity of a specific biomarker is present in the sample. Clinical laboratories use MALDI for bacterial identification, and these labs eliminate the clutter problem by growing up a culture from each clinical sample. They then analyze what has grown in the culture. The culture step is very slow, but results in a sample that is highly enriched with the target biomarkers, and conversely, largely devoid of “clutter”.

The digitalMALDI® Difference

Zeteo Tech’s digitalMALDI® technology pushes MALDI technology to a whole new level for speed, sensitivity and specificity. Our digitalMALDI® mass spectrometers obtain biomarker measurements from individual particles in the bioaerosol. Aided by proprietary digitalMALDI™ single particle at-a-time sample processing, instruments, we are able to complete a biomarker-specific molecular-level identification with as few 10 particles. We can achieve this remarkable sensitivity with a combination of proprietary bioaerosol processing and mass spectrometry advances that enable us to obtain measurements from very small, decluttered “digital” samples. For bacterial analyses, no culturing is needed. As an added benefit, our digitalMALDI® systems can detect non-culturable bacteria as well as viruses- something that can’t be done with other MALDI instruments. Our ground-breaking advances in sample decluttering, achieved by discretizing the sample in time, have resulted in the digitalMALDI® platform: exceptionally fast, sensitive and specific. digitalMALDI® instruments and methods may be used to identify chemicals and microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeasts, viruses or fungi, in aerosol analytes, biological, chemical, industrial and food samples.

Application Development

Zeteo Tech is developing commercial applications for the digitalMALDI® technology. Present applications include analysis of breath aerosol for infection disease and detection of airborne bio-threat agents within critical infrastructure. Are you interested in exploring a new application through a joint development project? Contact us discuss to your application.

Our Services

Zeteo Tech now offers analytical testing services in addition to research and development services associated with the use of our digitalMALDI® mass spectrometers and systems. In addition to our core digitalMALDI® aerosol time-to-flight mass spectrometer capabilities, our state-of-art laboratory includes Axima® MALDI time-of-flight and Orbritrap® mass spectometers.


Zeteo Tech is targeting a number of commercial applications for the digitalMALDI® technology. Present applications include analysis of breath aerosol for diagnosis of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and detection of airborne bio-threats within buildings and other critical infrastructure. Are you interested in exploring a new application through a joint development project? Contact us to discuss your application and pricing related to our services. Zeteo Tech offers scientific and technological services related to its digitalMALDI® product line, which may be customized for a wide range of applications including mobile laboratories for identifying chemicals and microorganisms.

In Development – Zeteo Electromagnetically Catalyzed Decontamination (EMCAT)

Zeteo Tech is developing an electromagnetic catalyzed decontamination (EMCAT) system that can be used to clean areas contaminated by viruses and bacteria. The EMCAT system uses directed energy and benign chemicals to produce biocidal effects on surfaces. The system:

  • Eliminates the need for corrosive materials
  • Decontaminates surfaces with less than a minute of exposure to directed energy
  • Works on porous materials
  • Is compatible with robotic operation
  • Effectively kills 99.9999% of bacterial spores
  • Effectively kills 99.999% of mold spores
  • Completely inactivates viruses that are 7 to 10 times harder to inactivate than the SARS-Coronavirus-2 virus

Contact us to learn more.