LC-MS Sample Prep by Moonlight

Martin Perkins

4th June 2013


Automated sample preparation works around the clock

It is common for labs to run LC/MS around the clock, but in clinical laboratories, overnight sample preparation is still rare.

People responsible for feeding Tandem Mass Spectrometers with samples, know that these instruments have very fussy palates.

Sample preparation is always a trade-off: If you have the luxury of plenty of sensitivity, then the temptation is to dilute and shoot. This saves time up-front, at the cost of increased downtime for cleaning.

However, most assays require extraction and/or concentration, and this always involves complex multi-step processes. Sure, aliquotting robots can remove some of the drudgery of pipetting, but manual intervention is still needed; someone has to be around to load tubes or plates onto a centrifuge, and move samples from one automation device to another.

You don’t end-up gaining as much time as you might have first thought.

This is why each Pay-Per-Sample LC-MS/MS system that we install
includes automated on-line robotic sample preparation, using the GERSTEL Multi-Purpose Sampler (MPS) and Anatune CF-100 on-board centrifuge.

On-line centrifugation enables protein precipitation to be fully automated and built-in to a complete walk-away robotic method that is, in turn, fully integrated with the LCMS or GCMS.

When configured with other accessories for Solid Phase Extraction, evaporation or incubation, the MPS can be programmed to perform a wide range of sample preparation protocols and then inject onto your instrument.

We have busy laboratories doing this right now with systems we have supplied. If you really want to burn the midnight oil (and still get a good night’s sleep), call us on 01223 279210 or email