With this award from the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program Professor Stephan B. Bach from University of Texas San Antonio and colleagues Miguel Jose Yacaman, Donald Kurtz, Waldemar Gorski and Harry Jarrett will acquire a matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometer. The proposal is aimed at enhancing research training and education at all levels, especially in areas such as (a) transition metal oxides, (b) metalloprotein characterization and intracellular location, (c) transcription factor proteome, proteomics and protein biomarkers, and (d) fundamental insights on the formation of stellated gold polyhedra at the nanoscale level.

Mass spectrometers (MS) are used to identify the chemical composition of a sample by measuring the mass of the molecular constituents in the sample after they are ionized and detected by the mass spectrometer. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) is a technique for preparing the sample to be ionized by a laser before injection into the mass spectrometer. The time of flight (TOF) mass analyzer has high sensitivity and mass accuracy to assist the analyses and interpretation of the resultant data. This open access instrument will provide training to undergraduate, graduate and post doctoral students in state-of-the-art mass spectrometry usage not only at the University of Texas San Antonio but also at neighboring institutions.

Project Report

Acquisition of MALDI-TOF/TOF Mass Spectrometer Project Summary The proposal "Acquisition of a matrix assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight mass spectrometer" requested funding for the purchase of a mass spectrometer which would provide cutting edge technology for interdisciplinary research and training. With this state-of-the art instrumentation UTSA has taken a giant leap forward in its mass spectrometry capabilities filling the gap in capabilities left having only electrospray instruments. The Bruker UltrafleXtreme matrix assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight mass spectrometer has enabled exploratory research in a variety of cutting edge fields, thereby generating new scientific insights at the molecular level. The Bruker Daltonics UltrafleXtreme was selected for the following reasons: The UltrafleXtreme has the best combination of specs for both general MALDI use and MALDI imaging. It has become truly a multidisciplinary mass spectrometry platform. It has a mass resolution of 40,000. The laser system provides software configurable repetition rate and a spot size down to 10 microns which is ideal for the molecular imaging of tissue. The control of the spot size and the control of the laser using the global attenuator offset enabled control of the laser power density at the surface which is critical for investigating nanomaterials which absorb in the UV like the ligand protected clusters. Intellectual Merit The projects supported by this instrument form a diverse sampling of investigations into the fundamental aspects of chemistry currently underway at the University of Texas at San Antonio. For example the systematic analysis of the entire piece of tissue will create a mass map of the tissue that relates the chemical composition to the morphology of the tissue. This allows for a better understanding of where the plaques and tangles associated with the onset of AD are located in the brain and how they form and to determine if there is a regional variations in the makeup of the plaques which cannot be determined from optical microscopy. The process by which the tissue sections are prepared for analysis has also proven imperative. Other projects that projects are listed below: molecular imaging of eye tissue from animal models, rat and rabbit to determine molecular biomarkers for eye injury development of protocols for the analysis of nanostructured materials Broader Impacts The Bruker Ultraflextreme has supported research in 2 Colleges (Sciences and Engineering) and 4 Departments (Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Biomedical Engineering) and by other institutions Texas A&M International University, University of Texas Health Sciences Center San Antonio Established Imaging Mass Spectrometry (IMS) in Texas as a valuable research tool Established mass spectrometry as a valuable analytical tool for nanostructured materials complimenting electron microscopy Access to advanced mass spectrometry for high school students, undergraduate students, graduate students, medical students, faculty at multiple institutions

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Chemistry (CHE)
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Carlos Murillo
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University of Texas at San Antonio
San Antonio
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