How Improving the Efficiency of High Throughput Screening Assays with Mass Spectrometry Works

An acoustic ejection mass spectrometry system delivers significantly greater throughput and efficiency in screening and quantitation assays

By SCIEX

Q: Can the speed of high throughput screening assays be improved to ‘buy time’?

Traditionally, high throughput screening (HTS) assays have been carried out by fluorescence-based detection techniques but more recently, mass spectrometry (MS) has taken over the role for certain assays due to its selectivity, sensitivity, and quantitative performance over what fluorescence assays offer. Such HTS assays have been designed to study biological, chemical, genetic, or pharmacological aspects of potential candidates for drug discovery. With the current speed of such assays, scientists can make relatively quick decisions on which candidates are taken forward for further development. One potential bottleneck, particularly with MS based detection, is that it often requires the use of liquid chromatographic (LC) separation to help with removal of chemical and matrix related interferences to enhance compound ionization and thus selective detection–which adds time in the analysis. Up until today, some of the quickest analysis times with MS has been in the region of 1 sample every 15 seconds.

Droplet of waterSCIEX

A: Meet Echo MS. The Acoustic Ejection Mass Spectrometry (AEMS) system that is breaking the throughput speed barrier to deliver 50x more throughput and efficiency in screening and quantitation assays.

With the use of Echo MS technology, the speed of analysis can be as fast as three samples per second– 50x faster than current MS based assays. Your current and future high throughput screening workflows can be transformed with this new frontier in contactless sampling. Echo MS technology combines pioneering innovations of an Open Port Interface (OPI) and Acoustic Droplet Ejection (ADE) to form an Acoustic Ejection Mass Spectrometry system. Powerful but gentle in its approach, ADE technology is built into a liquid handler. It focuses ultrasonic acoustic energy at the meniscus of a fluid sample to eject small droplets of liquid (between 1 & 10nL) from microtiter plates wells (96, 384, or 1536) into the OPI where the very accurate droplets are transferred to a SCIEX mass spectrometer ion source for detection using mass analysis. This results in answers at speeds of 180 samples/min or ~260,000 per day. The accuracy and precision of the assays benefits from the capability of mass spectrometric analysis to deliver <5% CV, along with high levels of uptime due to the use of the OPI in combination with the proprietary SCIEX Turbo V™ ion source. Other key benefits include:

  • Eliminates cross-contamination through tipless transfer
  • Provides unsurpassed accuracy and reproducibility of results
  • Preserves sample integrity and viability during transfer
  • Increases flexibility in transferring liquids at different positions and volumes
  • Reduces operating costs by eliminating disposable tips and reducing waste generation This technology will open your laboratory up to a new frontier of non-invasive contactless sampling.

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Categories: How it Works

Published In

Laboratory Trends Magazine Issue Cover
Laboratory Trends

Published: July 11, 2019

Cover Story

Laboratory Trends

Labor automation has always been a polarizing subject, approached alternately with hushed caution and with a tendency to rant and rave, to smash and rend
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