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SCIEX Launches Its SWATH Data Independent Acquisition Technology for Comprehensive Analysis of Food, Forensic and Environmental Samples

The power of SWATH® Acquisition with SCIEX TripleTOF® system technology enabled industrialized proteomics and now promises similar revolution for other application areas

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Framingham, MA – June 1, 2017 — SCIEX, a global leader in life science analytical technologies, today announced that it has launched its game-changing SWATH® data independent acquisition (DIA) technology for analytical scientists working across all application areas. SWATH Acquisition is ground-breaking in allowing the simultaneous and comprehensive identification and quantification of virtually every detectable compound in a sample, from a single analysis (MS/MSALL). SWATH Acquisition has unique capabilities for quantitative accuracy, offering exceptionally high reproducibility across multiple samples with wide dynamic range. Importantly, the technology enables the creation of a permanent digital record of quantitative MS/MS data for the entire sample. Following the successful implementation of SWATH for proteomics research, this technology is widely used today in the industrialization of proteomics research and can now bring significant advantages for analytical scientists in other fields, including forensics, food testing, environmental analysis, and biologics. 

The transition from traditional proteomics workflows to the SCIEX patented SWATH® Acquisition has transformed proteomics experiments, allowing all data to be robustly captured across very large sample cohorts to enable industrialized proteomics and precision medicine approaches. The ability of the SCIEX TripleTOF® system technology to acquire high resolution MS/MS spectra at high acquisition rates has made it the only mass spectrometer on which SWATH Acquisition can be routinely performed. Now with the new X500 series mass spectrometers, with the similar acquisition rates, on a routine use system SWATH Acquisition is now poised to revolutionize other fields. 

For example, food-testing laboratories survey ingredients and food products for quality and safety. Pesticide residues in certain foods such as baby food are required to be as low as under 10 µg/kg, and foods such as fruits or vegetables often exhibit a high number of active components and can be difficult to analyze. When using traditional LC-MS/MS approaches to analyze complex matrices such as foods, there is a risk of missing the identification of an important low level residue. SWATH Acquisition eradicates this issue, allowing scientists to completely survey samples for every detectable chemical contaminant present while also ensuring rapid, reliable detection of low abundance compounds that are usually masked by dominant compounds in a sample.

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Laboratories investigating water quality carry out rigorous treatment and testing procedures to identify a variety of chemical hazards. The difficulty with water analysis is that substances can be present at exceptionally low concentrations, in the range of low nanograms per liter, and a single sample may contain hundreds of contaminants. SWATH technology collects ultra-high quality MS and MS/MS on all detectable peaks to provide rapid and reliable identification and quantification of compounds in samples. 

Characterization and quantification of host cell proteins is an important stage in the development of biotherapeutics. Even with rigorous purification processes, small amounts of host cell proteins may be present in the final product. Traditional analysis methods including ELISA are not comprehensive enough to detect previously unknown HCP contaminants, and standard information dependent LC-MS strategies are not sensitive enough to detect low-level peptides in a reproducible manner. The unbiased SWATH Acquisition approach in contrast enables the detection of peptides down to very low levels in the sample, allowing researchers to generate reproducible data which is crucial for drug development studies. 

Forensic testing involves routine screening and quantification of drugs and medications in numerous biological matrices, such as blood. This testing requires robust hardware, reproducible results and highly sensitive analysis. SWATH technology collects comprehensive MS data and MS/MS data from a single sample injection, which results in a digital archive of the forensic sample. This allows re-interrogation of the sample without physical re-analysis, removing the need for expensive and inconvenient sample storage, and saving time. This unbiased solution also provides high quality results that will stand up in court. 

“The most important aspect of the X500R QTOF System is the ability to work with SWATH Acquisition, especially when analyzing food samples with complex matrices,” said Dr. Amadeo R Ferna´ndez-Alba, head of the European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for Fruits and Vegetables, and Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Almeria. “It also enables fast quantification, making it ideally suited to high-throughput applications, without compromising on sensitivity.” 

“As environmental chemists, we are always trying to find new compounds of concern, whether in drinking water, stormwater, or biota,” said Christopher Higgins, PhD, associate professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado School of Mines. “SWATH looks to provide us an opportunity to collect and archive data, thereby allowing us to re-examine old data without reacquisition. This is an important advantage in environmental monitoring where samples are often limited.”  

“The beauty of SWATH is that it collects data for everything,” said Dr. Thomas Kofoed, chief executive officer, Alphalyse. “It allows us to identify and quantify each host cell protein reliably in drug batches, and provide a service that customers can trust.” 

“SWATH is our preferred method for broad-based drug screening when using SCIEX QTOF systems, because SWATH enables the generation of accurate library MS/MS spectral matching results reducing the possibility of false negative identifications,” said Dr. Barry Logan, executive director, The Center for Forensic Science Research Education. “Essentially, SWATH provides reliable results for analytes that are toxicologically relevant to forensic investigations because of the complete MS/MS coverage that it provides.” 

Learn more about why only SCIEX can do SWATH