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Increasing Throughput While Protecting Proteome Coverage

A picture depicting proteins within a cell.
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Scientists studying the proteome are challenged by the huge number of samples to measure. At the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, 2023, Thermo Fisher Scientific launched new instruments, software and workflows for mass spectrometry and chromatography that could provide improvements in throughput without compromising on quality or coverage.

Marc N. Casper, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific said: “We are proud to launch this cutting-edge technology as it will meaningfully contribute to the success of researchers around the globe working to make precision medicine a reality.”

At ASMS 2023, Technology Networks spoke with Jim Yano, senior director of product management at Thermo Fisher Scientific, to learn more about these instruments and how they could be applied to personalized medicine.

First up, the Thermo Scientific™ Orbitrap™ Astral™ mass spectrometer combines deep proteome coverage, fast throughput and high sensitivity with accurate and precise quantitation, empowering scientists to make breakthrough discoveries more efficiently than ever. “Being able to run 10,000 samples or more in the past could take a year or longer. Now you can do it in a few months,” says Yano. The new Astral analyzer builds on Thermo Fisher’s proven Orbitrap mass spectrometry platform with novel technology to deliver up to two times deeper proteome coverage and up to four times more throughput compared to current mass spectrometers. “Now with instrument sensitivity, you can actually look at small protein changes,” said Yano, which can help with areas including treatment monitoring and mutation identification.

The new Orbitrap Astral mass spectrometer is complemented by the new Thermo Scientific µPAC™ Neo™ High Throughput HPLC column, which simplifies complex bottom-up proteomics analyses, enabling wider use in the discovery and study of cancer and other disease biomarkers.

Additionally, the latest version of the Thermo Scientific Proteome Discoverer™ 3.1 software interprets data from Thermo Scientific Orbitrap mass spectrometers using AI-powered approaches. “In the future AI will continue to assist researchers to quickly determine what may be the next step in their research,” says Yano. “We believe AI will bring insight [to biopharmaceutical development] faster.”

The Thermo Scientific Ardia™ platform supports scientists’ end-to-end proteomic workflow by integrating data across mass spectrometry instruments. Scientists can now break down silos and better understand new diagnostics and therapies that could reach the point of care sooner. “We developed the Ardia server system so customers could manage [large datasets] faster,” said Yano.

"Our latest innovations demonstrate how novel technology reveals new insights into disease mechanisms and fundamental biological processes to drive scientific breakthroughs," said John Lesica, president, chromatography and mass spectrometry, Thermo Fisher Scientific. "New instruments, combined with comprehensive workflows and intuitive software solutions, will power what’s next for scientists working to shape the future of human health."

Jim Yano was speaking to Molly Campbell, Senior Science Writer for Technology Networks, at ASMS 2023.