Bruker Daltonics has launched a compact high-performance MALDI -TOF/TOF mass spectrometer that has an affordable price tag and requires less laboratory space than rival systems.
The new autoflex TOF/TOF is described as the first vertical TOF/TOF system, which offers many of the high-performance MS/MS characteristics of larger systems and is priced at $375,000. It was unveiled at the ongoing International Mass Spectrometry Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland.
MALDI-TOF/TOF ((Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation-time of flight) technology has been adopted very rapidly by the global proteomics community, as its tandem mass analysers provide a leap in the throughput rates achieved in protein analysis.
The machines, pioneered by Bruker Daltonics with its UltraFlex TOF/TOF and Applied Biosystems with its 4700 Proteomics Analyser, allow re-ionisation of peptides so that more precise data can be gleaned from a given sample.
"Advantages of MALDI-TOF/TOF technology include superb MS/MS sensitivity, sequence coverage and information content due to the inherent high-energy MS/MS fragment generation. At the same time, TOF/TOF tandem mass spectra can be acquired with unprecedented throughput and ease of use, and the results are straightforward to interpret automatically," said Bruker.
The new autoflex TOF/TOF, claims Bruker, for the first provides the power of MALDI-TOF/TOF in a compact and affordable research system for proteomics applications. The system can handle automated protein identification by MALDI-TOF peptide mass fingerprinting, immediately followed by more detailed protein structural characterization using MALDI-TOF/TOF tandem mass spectrometry.
Bruker's autoflex TOF/TOF system, like its UltraFlex TOF/TOF sibling, use the industry-standard microtitre plate (MTP) format, and so can be used alongside many standard microbiology or clinical diagnostics sample preparation robots. The company notes that an optional robotic arm is available for automated delivery of additional MTP MALDI targets into the autoflex TOF/TOF for unattended 24/7 operation.
Meanwhile, Bruker also announced at the IMSC meeting that the UltraFlex TOF/TOF has been modified to offer T3-Sequencing, a novel and unique "top-down proteomics" method for obtaining extensive structural information on intact, undigested proteins. Moreover, the system's mass accuracy has been dramatically improved and is now specified at 5 parts per million for peptides, which is beneficial for both peptide mass fingerprinting and de novo peptide sequencing.