Mass spectrometry continues to gain widespread use for life sciences applications. In the past, access to this technology was primarily through core mass spectrometry laboratories run by highly trained specialists. With newer technology, the speed and accuracy of mass spectrometry is becoming available for an expanding list of applications including drug discovery, biomarker research, food contaminant testing and forensic toxicology.
Applied Biosystems, an Applera Corporation business, and its joint venture partner, Sciex, a division of MDS Inc.’s Analytical Technologies business, will showcase many of these new applications during the 55th annual American Society of Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) conference in Indianapolis, June 3-7.
More than 100 presentations highlighting significant research conducted on Applied Biosystems/MDS SCIEX instrument systems will be delivered during the conference. These presentations will detail innovative mass spectrometry-based applications for diverse fields such as clinical research, drug candidate screening, drug distribution imaging in animal tissues, proteomics, and contaminant detection in groundwater or food.
Among the highlights, data will be presented by University of Cincinnati and University of Geneva researchers who have had early experience with Applied Biosystems/MDS SCIEX’s recently-announced FlashQuant™ Workstation for ultra-fast quantitation of drug compounds and their metabolites.
The investigators evaluated the technology for potential use in high throughput drug discovery screening assays and therapeutic drug monitoring studies, respectively. The new platform is expected to be the first commercially available system to combine an industry-standard triple quadrupole mass spectrometry with MALDI technology to deliver an unparalleled level of speed in drug compound screening.
Results being presented will demonstrate the feasibility of applying FlashQuant to high throughput screening (HTS). One advantage of this technology is the ability to directly measure analytes instead of relying upon fluorescent and chemilluminescent indicators, according to the investigators. FlashQuant’s analytical time in the studies of one to two seconds per sample approaches the speed achieved in traditional HTS assays.
The conference will also feature a presentation by scientists from the Mayo Clinic, based in Rochester, Minn., who will present data on their research collaboration with Applied Biosystems/MDS SCIEX scientists to develop methods for the rapid measurement of amino acids in human plasma. By applying Applied Biosystems’ iTRAQ® reagents and mass spectrometers to this test, the scientists were able to reduce the analytical time to less than one-sixth of the time required by traditional methods, for increased throughput and reduced time to deliver test results.
Pediatrix Analytical and Sciex will also present data on their research to develop a method for measuring thyroxin (T4) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) from filter paper blood spots.
Several other presentations will detail research results derived by scientists using BioMAP, a software program developed for biomedical imaging and commercially licensed in the field of mass spectrometry exclusively to Applied Biosystems.
The BioMAP software application provides processing and display capabilities for mapping the distribution of drugs, metabolites, peptides and proteins in tissue via mass spectrometry imaging.