Tech Discussion: Paper Spray!

So I’ve been working in medical laboratories for a few years, and the logistics of the handling and storing biological samples is always pretty intensive. Companies often have to keep blood at certain temperatures, process them within certain timeframes, and devise a workflow that separates blood components and ensures that all the necessary tests can be done off of the provided volumes. To sum it up: tons of freezers, refrigerators, centrifuges and electricity bills! So when this equimpment from ThermoFisher popped up on my LinkedIn feed, I was pretty excited to research it!

Right now, the application notes only mention urine screening (for drugs) and quantitative analysis of Tacrolimus in blood spots. Admittedly, urine screening can be a pretty easy dipstick-in-a-cup sort of test, so it would be interesting to see if this helps out with any false-positives that would be picked up from that kind of test.

The International Journal of Mass Spectrometry has discussed this in a few papers, which were linked to by the page of that Velox 360 equipment. In one abstract, it says that:

Paper spray uses solvent electrospray to produce gas phase ions from samples deposited on paper or other porous media by applying a high voltage to the wet substrate. The method is amenable to the analysis of small and large molecules…making it potentially useful for quantitation of drugs during clinical trials or for therapeutic drug monitoring in a hospital or clinic.

There also a couple of the articles available as PDF’s at the Paper Spray link. In hindsight, maybe this is something I should’ve heard of before, because one of the pioneers, John B. Fenn, did get a Nobel prize in 2002 for this technology!

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