We are applying for funds to replace the ThermoFisher single quadrupole Trace MS GC mass spectrometer that was installed in 1999 and that is used to quantify small volatile lipids. In the last year about 47% of all analyses were performed on the Trace MS. Improvements in electronics, computers, and software have put the capabilities of this instrument several generations behind and we have several users that need the sensitivity and capabilities routinely available on newer tandem MS/MS instruments. We have chosen to replace the Trace MS with a triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometer, the TSQ Quantum GC from ThermoFisher Corporation. Detection sensitivity and reliability were the principal factors in our evaluation. The TSQ Quantum GC interfaced to a Trace GC will be installed in the Mass Spectrometer Facility located at Wake Forest University School of Medicine (WFUSM). Three mass spectrometers that specialize in different types of analyses are located in the Mass Spectrometer Facility. Peptide sequencing is performed using a Waters Q-TOF API US tandem mass spectrometer interfaced to a Waters CapLC. Routine phospholipid analysis is performed on the TSQ Discovery Max triple quadrupole mass spectrometer interfaced with an updated Agilent 1100 HPLC. The TSQ Quantum GC MS/MS will replace the Trace MS that is used for the analysis of small, volatile lipids. The Facility webpage is at http://www1.wfubmc.edu/mass_spec/. There are three individuals associated with the Facility. The Facility Director, Dr. Michael Thomas, helps users design and implement experiments and then helps them interpret the results. Two technicians are available to run sample analyses. One of the technicians, Dr. John Owen, is well versed in sample preparation and will work up samples for investigators or help them design sample work up protocols. Students and postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to use the equipment after appropriate training. The Mass Spectrometer Facility has offered mass spectrometric resources to WFUSM investigators since 1981. Yearly use of the facility has consistently increased over the past 25 years. During the past three years the facility served 36 WFUSM investigators and their collaborators from 11 departments and 6 academic investigators not associated with WFUSM. The Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University (CCCWFU), fee-for-service and the Institution are committed to support the facility. In Fiscal 2008 the cost of the facility was $166,816 with 57% covered by fee-for-service and 43% covered by CCCWFU. There was no out-of-pocket cost to the Institution. This Facility supports grants with a combined value of more than $13M. Because of the heavy usage of the Trace MS by WFUSM faculty and students it is essential to maintain a mass spectrometer that operates with the best sensitivity and resolution that is commercially available.
The Mass Spectrometer Facility supports NIH-funded research at Wake Forest University and GC/MS capability is an essential part of that support. Replacing our GC/MS with a new instrument having added capabilities will enhance the timely completion of NIH-funded research.
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