Protein Discovery, Inc. has announced that the company has received a $750,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) for commercial development of the company's MALDIplex™ M5 Sample Prep Station.
Protein Discovery is applying grant funding to optimization of the MALDIplex system for clinical diagnostics.
The MALDIplex M5 Sample Prep Station uses electrophoresis to prepare complex biological samples for clinical mass spectrometry. The system purifies, fractionates, concentrates, and de-salts 96 samples for MALDI (matrix associated laser-desorption ionization) analysis of proteins and small molecules in less than one hour, the company says.
Sample types include serum, plasma, tissue biopsies, and homogenates of solid tissue. Purified, fractionated analytes are captured onto a slide pre-formatted for use with commercially available MALDI mass spectrometers.
"We believe that mass spectrometry is poised to become a dominant analytical tool in clinical diagnostics, replacing some clinical assays and augmenting many others," said Chuck Witkowski, chief executive officer of Protein Discovery.
"Mass spectrometry instrument manufacturers are currently developing products that will be used in a clinical setting. However, there currently does not exist a robust sample preparation platform that offers the sensitivity, precision, reproducibility, and throughput required for large scale clinical applications. The MALDIplex system uniquely addresses this unmet need for high-throughput, high-quality clinical sample preparation,” Witkowski said.