Technology - DrawGlycan - Rendering Glycans from Mass Spectrometry Data

DrawGlycan - Rendering Glycans from Mass Spectrometry Data

Simple and robust tool to render glycans from mass spectrometry data using SNFG standards.


Glycomics, the study of glycans in proteomic mass spectrometry, is used in basic science to understand the signaling and interaction between cells, especially those involved in immunology, oncology, and infectious disease.  It also has important implications in translational and commercial science where it is used for biomarker and drug target discovery, and for biologic drug development.  As the field of glycomics expands, it is expected to identify new phenotypes for personalized medicine and to enable new modes of direct diagnosis. Mass spectrometry software is increasingly including methods to identify glycans and to visualize glycan and the fragments identified by mass spec to human users.  University at Buffalo researchers have developed a software tool that takes the interpreted output of mass spectrometers and represents it in an attractive international standard for the depiction of glycan protein modifications.

Technology Overview:

DrawGlycan is a software for visualizing glycans developed by University at Buffalo researchers.  It accepts IUPAC condensed inputs and visualizes them in the widely adopted standard Symbol Nomenclature For Glycans (SNFG) format used by NCBI and by many leading journals in the world. The key advantages of this technology are that it can accept fragmented glycan data and visualize bond breaks in the glycan structure so is ideally suited for visualizing glycans identified by mass spectrometry.  The software is also modular and can be used as a standalone application but is also easy to integrate into existing mass spectrometry data analysis software (integration with software written in Python and Java has been tested) and is expected to be suitable for integrating into web-based software also.
Copyright SUNY Research Foundation 2017


  • Modular and ideal for integration into mass spectrometry data analysis software
  • Inbuilt functions to depict bond breaks
  • Simple command-line operations
  • Able to depict glycan fragmentation
  • Available as JAVA and Python MATLAB packages


  • Glycan visualization module for mass spectrometry software

Intellectual Property Summary:


Stage of Development:

  • Software in widespread use in academia
  • TRL6

Licensing Status:

Available for non-exclusive commercial licensing.

Licensing Potential:

Non-exclusive Licensing

Additional Information:

Patent Information: