In mass spectrometry, sample preparation is a key step in isolating, enriching, or concentrating the analyte of interest. It also helps remove interferences in order to minimize ion suppression. As a result, the decision to automate or even semi-automate sample preparation for mass spectrometry can be difficult.
In a recent article published in Clinical Laboratory News, Paul Jannetto, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Clinical Mass Spectrometry laboratory at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, provides an overview for readers to determine whether or not automated sample preparation is right for their laboratories. Dr. Jannetto discusses the importance of identifying a lab's needs and challenges, strengths and weaknesses, level of automation (complete or partial), and how to integrate automated sample preparation with the laboratory information system.
Dr. Jannetto also touches on the main advantages and disadvantages of automating sample preparation for mass spectrometry, key factors to consider when deciding between automation options, benefits from automating sample preparation for mass spectrometry, and future features of sample preparation automation that would benefit the process.
During his discussion, Dr. Jannetto also talks how about Mayo Clinic's use of sample preparation automation in the clinical mass spectrometry laboratory, which includes a wide range of systems. Together, these systems have enabled Mayo to improve turnaround times and throughput by greater than 25%, improve the imprecision of analytes, and save labor and supply costs by up to $1.73/sample.
Dr. Jannetto says, "Importantly, these automated systems free technologists from non-value added tasks that are highly repetitive and lead to injuries. Overall, they have enabled us to continue to grow and expand while consistently meeting patient needs with high quality results."
Read the full article to learn more about automated sample preparation for mass spectrometry.