Courtesy of Waters Corporation
Waters' Quattro Premier XE Mass Spectrometer
Last summer got off to a hot start at the June 2005 American Society for Mass Spectrometry meeting in San Antonio, Texas. With new product releases ranging from labeling reagents for quantitative proteomics to breakthrough hybrid mass spectrometry technology, a variety of companies took advantage of the large gathering of potential customers to introduce their wares. This roundup highlights several new and noteworthy offerings.
BUZZWORTHY MASS SPECTROMETERS
John Yates of The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., who gave a presentation on the instrument at the conference and plans to purchase two of them, says the product "caught everybody by surprise – a lot of people knew about the technology, but they weren't expecting a commercial product out of it for a couple more years."
Orbitrap technology is similar to that of an ion cyclotron resonance (ICR) mass spectrometer, in which ions move about an electrode and have to move quickly over long distances without bouncing into other molecules, says Yates. "It requires a very high vacuum in order to be successful.... That tends to be kind of tricky technology, [because] you have to interface that with the linear ion trap, which operates at very low vacuum," he explains.
But though its performance is close to that of an FT-ICR mass spectrometer, with a resolution of 60,000 to 100,000 FWHM and a mass accuracy of less than 5 ppm with no internal mass calibration, the Orbitrap has several advantages, he notes. "It's cheaper. You don't have to deal with a high-field magnet, which requires liquid nitrogen and liquid helium," Yates says. According to Muenster, the difference in price between Thermo's Finnigan LTQ-FT mass spectrometer and the LTQ-Orbitrap (list price, $625,000) is about $200,000. It also has lower space requirements because it does not require the high ceiling necessary for housing a magnet.
The Quattro Premier XE has a list price of approximately $330,000–$340,000 for the basic system (without the ACQUITY UPLC).
Boston-based PerkinElmer Life and Analytical Sciences
The first is a high-throughput sample-preparation method that uses membrane absorbers to capture abundant carrier proteins such as albumin, and a proprietary chemistry (developed by partner Vivascience of Hannover, Germany) to release low-abundance biomarkers that are associated with the carrier proteins directly onto a MALDI plate, leaving the carrier proteins behind.
The platform's other components are PerkinElmer's high-resolution prOTOF mass spectrometer, which can acquire spectra over a broad mass range (700–10,000 daltons) in one acquisition, and new biomarker analysis software developed with partner companies Nonlinear Dynamics and Predictive Diagnostics, to handle the resulting data. Lopez says the company has a paper in press describing the platform's use for the discovery of a diagnostic pattern for Alzheimer disease.
ALTERNATIVE TO ICAT
Another advantage, says Suckau, is that ICPL labeling is done at the level of the intact proteome; the two samples to be analyzed are labeled first, combined, fractionated, and then digested. In ICAT, the proteins are digested before the resulting peptides are labeled, potentially introducing errors because the two samples are digested under different conditions, Suckau says.
Bruker Daltonics, which is comarketing ICPL with Serva, offers software to support quantitative proteomic analysis with the ICPL kits.