Thermo Fisher Scientific Introduces Automated Sample Prep/LC System Designed to Make LC-MS/MS Analysis Accessible to More Clinical Researchers
11 Feb 2013

Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., the world leader in serving science, today introduced the Thermo Scientific Prelude SPLC sample preparation and liquid chromatography system, developed to make analysis of target compounds in complex biological matrices routine for clinical research and forensic toxicology laboratories.

LC-MS/MS offers significant advantages in selectivity and quantitative accuracy over immunoassays and other analytical techniques, according to numerous published studies. However, Thermo Fisher Scientific “Voice of the Customer” surveys indicate that many clinical researchers consider the need for specialized mass spectrometry expertise a barrier to adopting this powerful technology.

“Our intent is to demonstrate how easy it now can be to perform LC-MS/MS bioanalysis on a routine basis,” said Ken Miller, Thermo Fisher vice president, Marketing, Life Science Mass Spectrometry. “As the clinical research community increasingly recognizes the benefits of LC-MS/MS, we set a goal to make this technique more accessible than it is with standard HPLC systems. To do this, we designed a front end of the MS workflow emphasizing robustness, affordable cost of ownership and better ease of use. We feel that the Prelude SPLC system succeeds.”

The Prelude SPLC sample preparation and liquid chromatography system is designed to work seamlessly with Thermo Scientific mass spectrometers such as the Thermo Scientific TSQ Vantage triple-stage quadrupole instrument. The TSQ Vantage system is known for its very high sensitivity and low noise, enabling quantitative analysis and positive identification of drugs, drug metabolites and steroids in biological samples.

The Prelude SPLC system is designed to enhance the cost effectiveness of LC-MS/MS instrumentation by automating sample preparation and increasing mass spectrometer throughput. Automation can minimize variability inherent in manual sample preparation procedures while also reducing sample preparation time and effort. Innovative Thermo Scientific TurboFlow technology is designed to negate problems caused by sample matrix interference while capturing analytes of interest. This level of sample clean-up can enhance MS quantitative analysis by reducing ion suppression. Contamination of the mass spectrometer ion source can also be reduced, minimizing maintenance requirements.

The Prelude SPLC system can contribute to reductions in operating costs for research laboratories that currently outsource LC-MS/MS analysis by bringing this capability in-houseBecause it features two channels of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) separation, mass spectrometer idle time can be reduced compared to single channel LC systems. This often translates into higher sample throughput.

LC-MS/MS performance can be further enhanced through precise and reproducible low-volume gradient operation at flow rates of 1-2000 mL/min, which can enable fast, high-resolution separations compared to standard HPLC systems.

Ease of use is enhanced by Thermo Scientific TraceFinder software, which provides a single, easy-to-learn interface for both the LC and MS functions. These include instrument control, data acquisition, data processing and reporting. Thermo Scientific Quick Start methods are designed to facilitate implementation of LC/MS for users who may not be mass spectrometry experts. Once a method is loaded, users can begin running samples with as few as six clicks of the mouse.

The Prelude SPLC system software features a remote instrument monitoring and diagnostics capability, designed to reduce the need for on-site troubleshooting skills. Thermo Scientific technicians can pinpoint hardware problems online.

The Prelude SPLC system is manufactured at an ISO 13485 certified Thermo Fisher facility. ISO 13485 is an internationally recognized standard of quality management.

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