Sample preparation for MS analysis of metabolites

Hamilton Microlab STAR

Before sample analysis using a mass spectrometer can begin the drug must be extracted out of the biological matrix to a liquid suitable for the mass spectrometer. The manual process involves aliquoting samples with pipettes, adding solvents, shaking for mixing of samples with precipitation solvent and centrifugation for separating the supernatant from the sample matrix. This process is very time consuming because of the many steps and manual labor involved and is prone to human errors. A more efficient technique to sample preparation process involves the use of a Hamilton liquid handling system capable of performing all of the sample preparation steps prior to sample analysis. The Hamilton’s flexible software design allows customizing the instrument to meet their assay requirements.

Features and

Final plate map generated via Watson name list

User determines

  • Number of standards/Quality Controls (Q C’s) in each calibration curve
  • Concentration of each standard/Q C
  • Sample and protein precipitation solution volumes
  • Sample Positions on Final Plate
  • Dilution Factors for Samples

Program features

  • 5-300 uL aliquot volume
  • Sample dilutions
  • Reminder for blank biological matrix needed for assay
  • 15 - 30 minute study preparation
  • No manual pipetting necessary

Verify accuracy and precision of plasma and solvent liquid classes in programs

  • Perform comparison study of Hamilton prep vs. manual prep
  • Gravimetric check agreement 90% or better
  • Verify concentration agreement 85% or better
  • Determine limitations of the program and refinements necessary. (This activity still ongoing).


Application note

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