Researchers at the University of Rhode Island are working with new mass spectrometry technology to develop a saliva-based test to monitor immunosuppressant drugs used in connection with organ transplants.

The Clinical Pharmacokinetics Research Laboratory at URI’s College of Pharmacy have adopted AB SCIEX mass spectrometry technology, according to Foster City, Calif. based AB SCIEX.

The URI project is intended to develop a less-invasive saliva-based test, rather than the existing blood-based tests commonly used today to monitor the effectiveness of immunosupressants in organ transplant cases.

URI will be solely responsible for advancing the test through development, according to AB SCIEX.

Fatemeh Akhlaghi, associate professor of pharmacokinetics at URI, said in a press release, “Our goal is to make it easier for laboratories to accurately analyze the effectiveness of drugs used in organ transplants. By being able to obtain clinically-relevant results from saliva, clinical researchers can adopt a non-invasive procedure that could revolutionize the study of immunosuppressant drugs.”

In January, URI was awarded $116,840 from The Champlin Foundations to put toward establishing a new biomedical engineering design laboratory for students.