The Analytical Biochemistry resource was established to support and facilitate collaborative cancer research between the various disciplines at the Center by providing chemical analyses which contribute to understanding chronic diseases in our population. It also assists in the determination of the nature or structure of biological molecules as well as the quantification of those compounds. The facility is equipped with essential instruments needed to perform analytical chemistry, and modern, state-of-the-art technology for difficult-to-measure and ultra-low concentrated compounds.
The laboratory is conducting analyses of clinical analytes, lipid soluble plasma antioxidants, serum carotenoids and vitamins in support of several NIH-funded projects, including research on many types of cancer. The resource constantly updates its assays to utilize the latest technology. For example, blood Vitamin C is now measured by liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection which is faster and more accurate relative to the traditional colorimetric method. HPLC-based assays are transitioning to smaller column diameters, faster flow rates and the use of ultra-high pressure liquid chromatography to provide better sensitivity, faster analysis time and less waste generation. The laboratory conducts assays based on liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC/MS) extensively. Both a tandem MS system (triple-quadrupole TSQ Ultra, ThermoFisher) and an accurate-mass orbitrap system (Exactive, ThermoFisher) are available. MS based assays offer improved sensitivity, selectivity and accuracy for many analytes. The resource has also added ELISA assays including multiplexed operations using Luminex technology.
Adrian Franke, PhD
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