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Product Highlights from ASMS Conference 2022

From new MALDI imaging solutions to software updates, the 70th ASMS Conference showcased a variety of new products

Holden Galusha

Scott Hanton, PhD, editorial director of Lab Manager, and Damon Anderson, PhD, technology editor for LabX, recently attended the American Society of Mass Spectrometry’s annual conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While there, each compiled some of the product announcements that most interested them. Here are five highlights from ASMS 2022:

Bruker MALDI HiPLEX-IHC

Bruker’s new MALDI HiPLEX-IHC technology combines fast, wide field-of-view small molecule imaging with protein profiling, producing deep, spatial, multiomic images of proteins and small molecules with more detail than preceding Bruker products.

To develop MALDI HiPLEX-IHC, Bruker partnered with AmberGen. AmberGen’s MiralysTM photocleavable mass-tag imaging probes allow multiplexing with more than 100 biomarkers, along with multimodal and multiomic imaging for a comprehensive picture of the sample with only one scan.

Damon Anderson, PhD, states “…This new layer of protein-specific spatial information may open a wide range of investigations, such as tracking signaling pathways in glycosylation, mapping lipid profiles for tumor microenvironments, or observing how drugs affect both protein and metabolic states.”

Currently, MALDI HiPLEX-IHC is available in Bruker’s timsTOF Flex and rapifleX systems. The timsTOF Flex is a “complete multiomics platform” that visualizes biological information from proteins, lipids, metabolites, and xenobiotics. The rapifleX, designed to maximize protein multiplexing in fresh, frozen, or fixed formalin paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue sections, is advertised as “the fastest MALDI Imaging platform available.”

Agilent 5977C GC/MSD and HydroInert

A single-quadrupole workhorse, the 5977C is one of the latest installments in Agilent’s 50-plus year legacy of GC-MS innovation. With a detection limit of just one femtogram, the 5977C is ideal for sensitive, routine analyses in environmental testing, food testing, chemical analysis, and compound analysis in both forensics and pharmaceuticals. 

Additionally, the 5977C uses HydroInert, Agilent’s new carrier gas technology. HydroInert streamlines the use of hydrogen as the carrier gas instead of helium. It does this by improving chromatographic performance while minimizing the spectral anomalies and loss of sensitivity that traditionally afflict hydrogen-based GC-MS platforms. Furthermore, HydroInert doesn’t contribute to the global helium shortage.

Keeping with the concept of inert carrier gas, the 5977C supports Agilent’s Inert Flow Path products that “ensure inertness with every surface that touches your sample.

The 5977C also integrates directly with Agilent’s CrossLab Smart Alerts software to keep users updated on the status of their unit via email alerts and remote monitoring capabilities. Additionally, thanks to Agilent’s JetClean technology, the 5977C’s ion source is self-cleaning and should require little to no manual cleaning.

Thermo Proteome Discoverer 3.0

Among the new software solutions announced, Thermo Fisher Scientific unveiled version 3.0 of their Proteome Discoverer protein informatics platform. This update integrated MSAID's CHIMERYS™ search algorithm and INFERYS™ intelligent rescoring into the program. 

Proteome Discoverer is a comprehensive data analysis platform that enables multiple proteomics workflows, including basic peptide and protein identification, post translational modifications (PTMs), isobaric labeling, and label-free quantitation. The program integrates natively with multiple mass spectrometry database search engines, such as SEQUEST™ HT, Mascot, MS Amanda, and more. Additionally, Proteome Discoverer’s node-based workflow editor enables extensive customization. Users can use third-party nodes or add custom calculations to their workflows via the scripting node.

In version 3.0, CHIMERYS™ and INFERYS™ will serve to deepen proteomics identification and increase confidence in results, respectively. “CHIMERYS can re-interrogate existing data or examine new data, mining at a deeper level and producing higher peptide coverages,” remarks Anderson. “INFERYS rescoring provides increases in peptide identifications, particularly for large search spaces containing highly similar peptides. An immediate application is immunopeptidomics studies of immune signaling peptide factors.”

CONFIRM Sequence App for waters_connect

Waters announced CONFIRM Sequence, the latest addition to their waters_connect informatics platform. CONFIRM enables researchers to perform impurity analyses and sequence confirmation on synthetic oligonucleotides.

According to a press release, the CONFIRM Sequence app eliminates half of the time spent on post-processing data review, which serves to quicken the characterization and development of nucleic acid therapeutics.

Additionally, CONFIRM Sequence is ready for deployment in good manufacturing practice and regulated development labs. The app is “the first sequencing tool to integrate compliance-ready data acquisition, processing, and reporting.”

Agilent MassHunter BioConfirm 12.0

Agilent’s BioConfirm software is a liquid chromatography and quadrupole time-of-flight solution for mass spectrometry analysis of biopharmaceutical products. Earlier this month, Agilent announced version 12.0 of the program, which brings support for oligonucleotide analysis and improves existing protein analysis capabilities.

According to the company press release, version 12.0 workflows “allow researchers to identify full-length products and potential impurities. The innovative MS/MS-based sequence confirmation enables confirmation of oligonucleotide sequences in minutes instead of days or weeks of manual interpretation.”

Damon Anderson, PhD, also contributed to this article.