Friday, October 20, 2017

Profiling the BNP Cardiac marker at rocket speed with CE-QE!

I puzzled over this new study for quite a bit. 

First off -- I had never heard of this BNP peptide or how it works, but the important thing for my limited understanding is that monitoring it rapidly is super important in some cardiac diseases.

Our standard proteomics techniques are awesome -- but they are ultimately far too slow for a clinical environment. I still don't 100% get this technique, but I do get this about it:

1) It requires very little hands on work. It's automatically incubating this reaction.
2) It allows multiple measurements of these critical markers in rapid succession because it is using capillary electrophoresis (CE) connected to a quadrupole-Orbitrap (plus)

One of the coolest things about CE is that it's just constantly going. You don't have to go back to re-equilibration the way you do with LC. The ions are migrating electrophoretically (probably not the word) through the same buffer system. You can make another injection before the first one has reached the mass spectrometer, so you can have tons and tons of throughput.

The way this method takes advantage of these properties is by allowing an enzymatic(?) reaction to occur and then making subsequent injections from minimally processed plasma samples into the CE flow path. There are 5 peptides(?) that they are interested in that aid in the cardiac progression diagnosis and they can monitor all 5 of them as the reaction is going.

Complaints about mass spec speed in the clinic? They go from plasma to read-out of these 5 critical markers in under 1 hour!

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