Sample Pre-Processing Development
Our technology development aim is focused on automation of sample pre-processing for mass spectrometry-based metabolomics. This will allow for integration of sample pre-processing platform into field-deployable sample collection devices. Currently, metabolomics sample pre-processing is time-consuming and prone to human error due to sample handling procedures. Our goal is to take advantage of fabric phase solid extraction (FPSE) techniques, which are compatible with downstream ultra-performance liquid chromatography-time of flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-ToFMS) metabolomics. To this end, we have tested different fabric phase extraction protocols in collaboration with the Sample Engineering Core to capture a full metabolomic and lipidomic profile in blood. Our initial experiment identified a material, which is efficient in extracting polar metabolites and lipid species from different sample types; whole blood, serum, and diluted serum. Current efforts are focused on refining our protocols to optimize extraction efficiency while using just 50 uL of the sample each time.