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eMALDI is a patented sample preparation technology that transforms the widely used analytical detection method MALDI-MS into a more sensitive up to 100x, robust and faster method. eMALDI solves the critical bottleneck of heterogeneous residue formation in the sample preparation stage.
How does eMaldi work?
Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Mass Specrometry (MALDI-MS) is a widely used technique in analytical chemistry, protein and biomedical research for the identification of organic molecules in general. More recently it has found applications in medical hospitals including identification of bacteria and pathogen infections. One of the main benefits of MALDI-MS is its easy of use and high throughput capability, which makes it suitable for screening applications of large numbers of samples. Despite the ever-growing demand and more promising applications in horizon, MALDI-MS has not reached its potential due to a bottleneck in sample preparation stage.
The standard sample preparation procedure involves the deposition of a sample drop on a substrate. Subsequently, the solvent is left to evaporate and the remaining dried residue is inserted into the MALDI-spectrometer (see video). However, the evaporation of sample results in heterogeneous and randomly positioned residues so called coffee stains. The coffee stain effect leads – as is well known from daily experience at the coffee table – to a very heterogeneous distribution of the dried residue after completion of the evaporation process (see figure).
Due to heterogeneous residue formation:
- Conventional MALDI-MS becomes slow and subjective:
The conventional MALDI-MS signal depends very strongly on the position of the irradiating laser pulse within the dried coffee spot. A need for “sweep spots” with high signal to error ratio signal emerges hurting the combinatorial speed MALDI-MS offers. The MALDI-MS analysis becomes slow and subjective.
- Conventional MALDI-MS loses sensitivity and robustness:
The signal variations with a spot and spot-to-spot emerge as the concentration of analyte varies due to heterogeneous residue formation. As the residues are.
eMALDI technology evokes electrowetting to eliminate the undesired heterogeneous patterns to achieve homogeneous distribution of biomolecules of interest for the MALDI-MS (see the red box in figure below). eMALDI not only enhances the detection limits by boosting the signal-to-noise ratio but also makes the detection process faster by eleminating the need for time consuming search for hot spots where the signal is abundant. The signal enhancement is demonstrated in mass spectra with eMALDI in red vs. the spectra with conventional MALDI MS in blue (enlarged in inset for clarity).
The patented and unique eMALDI technology provides the following benefits.
- Faster analysis
- Improved detection sensitivity
- Easy and fault-free analysis
for the popular analytical chemistry technique MALDI-MS.
Technology behind eMaldi
Intrinsically complex nature of scientific, technological challenges in biology and analytical biochemistry along with limitations in quantity of sample to work with requires efficient, reliable and rapid analysis of vast number of samples with combinatorial approach. Microarray and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry are leading combinatorial technologies in detecting biological macromolecules such as DNA, proteins, antibodies, glucoconjugates and cancer markers. Despite the ever growing demand and more promising applications in horizon, aforementioned technologies have not reached their penultimate potential yet. Wide spread use and applicability to critical problems in daily life is hampered efficiency issues due to coffee stain effect. We have developed a novel technology to eliminate coffee stain effect and provide more efficient and reliable analysis based on suppression of contact line hystersis by Electrowetting.
The technology of eMALDI is protected under the following patent: "A method for treating a liquid drop".
- World Patent WO2011\145929
- European patent PCT\NL2011\050328, 2011
eMaldi published papers
- A method for treating a drop Patent application PCT/NL2011/050328, US 13/697,870
- Suppressing the coffee stain effect: how to control colloidal self-assembly in evaporating drops using electrowetting HB Eral, DM Augustine, MHG Duits, F Mugele Soft Matter, 2011 7 (10), 4954-4958n
- Control of evaporating complex fluids through electro wetting D Mampallil, HB Eral, D van den Ende, F Mugele Soft Matter, 2012, 8 (41), 10614-10617
- Say goodbye to coffee stains HB Eral, HTM van den Ende, F Mugele Physics world 25, 33-37 (2012).
- Suppressing the coffee stain effect: how to control colloidal self-assembly in evaporating drops using electrowetting, H.B. Eral, D. Mampallil, M.H.G. Duits, F. Mugele, Soft Matter 7, 4954 (2011)
- Capillary Stokes drift: a new driving mechanism for mixing in AC-electrowetting, F. Mugele, A. Staicu, R. Bakker, D. van den Ende, Lab Chip 11, 2011 (2011)
- Shaken not stirred – On internal flow patterns in oscillating sessile drops, J.M. Oh, D. Legendre, F. Mugele, EPL 98, 34003 (2012)
Support and Partners
e-MALDI receives the following support
- e-MALDI: boosting mass spectrometry through electrowetting – STW Valorization Grant I (2012-2013)
- e-MALDI: boosting mass spectrometry through electrowetting – STW Valorization Grant II (2014-2016)
- Regional innovation subsidy from the province of Overijssel (2015)
eMALDI BV is located at Kennispark Twente in Enschede - The Netherlands.
- eMALDI BV
- Hengelosestraat 511
- 7521AG Enschede
- The Netherlands
- e-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tel: +31  53 82 00 814
- Fax: +31  53 82 00 813