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Bruker Daltonics Releases MALDI BioTyper System

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Bruker Daltonics has announced the release of MALDI BioTyper™ system for the identification and classification of microorganisms using protein 'fingerprints' measured by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry at Pittcon 2006.

Bruker claims that, the characteristic protein expression patterns of microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeasts and fungi, can be analyzed with the MALDI BioTyper system.

The reproducibility of the MALDI BioTyper is based on the measurement of high-abundance proteins, including many ribosomal proteins.

As a result, the MALDI BioTyper protein fingerprints are not significantly influenced by variability in environmental or growth conditions.

This is a crucial advantage of this microbiology method, as it is designed to allow the generation of MALDI BioTyper libraries of microorganisms.

The MALDI BioTyper represents a complement to classical microbiological identification and classification techniques, and to modern PCR-based techniques.

In contrast to other approaches, the MALDI BioTyper does not require any initial assessment like gram staining, oxidase test of unknown samples, choice of PCR primers or usage of selective growth media.

Applications of the MALDI BioTyper include taxonomical research on microorganisms, infectious disease research, as well as microorganism detection and identification in environmental analysis, food safety and water quality.

Using standardized MALDI BioTyper methods, after an overnight culture growth, cell material can either be directly transferred onto a MALDI-TOF target plate, or it can be analyzed after a rapid organic extraction procedure.

The MALDI BioTyper bioinformatics package performs the microorganism identification and classification based on MALDI-TOF proteomic signatures.

The MALDI BioTyper software carries out all necessary data processing steps leading from raw spectra to peak lists.

The generation of reference spectra for individual strains is automated, but the software also allows for expert interaction.

Microorganism identification is performed by pattern matching between reference spectra and MALDI-TOF profiles of unknown strains. The analysis results are visualized in an intuitive graphical user interface.

In addition to enabling the identification of known microorganisms, the MALDI BioTyper software is designed to offer a variety of advanced algorithms for the characterization of unknown microorganisms, including clustering and phylogenetic dendrogram construction.

This feature is designed to allow the protein signature classification of unknown species and strains, and complements taxonomical and phylogenetic approaches, such as ribosomal DNA sequencing.

The MALDI BioTyper typically achieves identification at the genus or species level. In many cases even different microbial strains can be distinguished.

Dr. Thomas Maier, the Bruker Daltonics MALDI BioTyper Project Manager, said, "The idea of the MALDI BioTyper is to combine easy sample preparation, state-of-the-art instrumentation and robust data analysis tools into a next-generation technique for the fast, convenient and cost-effective identification of microbial strains."

"Our customers are very impressed by the facile and cost-effective sample preparation used in our unique protein signature approach for unequivocal microbial identification."

Dr. Markus Kostrzewa, Director of Clinical Proteomics R&D at Bruker Daltonics, explained further, "An attractive aspect of the MALDI BioTyper is that it fits seamlessly with our other MALDI-TOF based CLINPROT™ clinical proteomics applications, such body-fluid profiling, protein biomarker identification and validation, as well as MALDI molecular imaging."

"The MALDI BioTyper is a further step in bringing our mass spectrometry-based solutions into biology laboratories where the same instrument can be used for multiple workflows in life science and clinical research applications."

Bruker Daltonics will exhibit at booth #3155 at Pittcon 2006.