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Fully Automated Sample Preparation and Nanoelectrospray MS Analysis Using ZipTips, the Precision 2000 and the NanoMate 100


September 03, 2003


Authors: Paul Held, BioTek Instruments, Inc., Winooski, VT; Ellen Pace, Kevin Howe, Advion BioSciences, Inc., Ithaca, NY; Tim Blankenship, Millipore Corp. Bellerica, MA


Advion     Millipore

This poster shown at Drug Discovery, August 11-13, 2003


Today's increased throughput demand for Nanoelectrospray Mass Spectroscopy (MS) has driven the need for automation. In addition to automating the loading of samples into theMS, automation of the sample preparation, such as desalting, purification and concentration ofthe samples, is necessary to provide the throughput required. Here we describe a simple procedure that employs the use of the Precision 2000 Automated Multi-channel Pipettor, inconjunction with ZipTips® pipette tips to perform the pipetting tasks required for sample preparation prior to automated nanoelectrospray mass spectrometry using a NanoMate 100.

The Precision 2000 is an automated pipettor that uses an 8- or 12-channel multi-channel pipette arm to pipette fluids anywhere on a completely configurable multi-station deck. The pipette armmoves up and down as well as side-to-side, while the platform moves front to back to provide complete access to all locations on the work platform. The pipette arm uses a proprietary technology to reliably pick up and seal any standard tip with individual, free-floating barrels that compensate for tips out of position. The Precision 2000 handles ZipTips, which are used to desalt samples. ZipTip pipette tips are 10-microliter pipette tips that contain 0.6 microliters of immobilized chromatography media (C18) in the distal ends. The beads are immobilized in a membrane scaffold that has been formed within the pipette tip housing. The tip serves as a miniature chromatography column for microscale solid phase extraction(SPE). After sample preparation, the NanoMate, an automated nanoelectrospray infusion system, and a mass spectrometer analyze the ZipTip effluent. The NanoMate 100 is a unique, fully automated nanoelectrospray system that easily mounts to a variety of mass spectrometers. Sample aliquots (1 to 10 microliters) are drawn into disposable conductive tips from a standard 96-well plate. Each sample is processed using a separate tip and nozzle, so there is no carryover between samples.

A comparison of results between the manual method and the use of the Precision 2000 to automate sample preparation is presented.

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