Applied Biosystems has announced the availability of the first laboratory system that uses mass spectrometry to perform amino acid analysis, greatly improving the effectiveness and reliability of the data obtained.
The new Amino Acid 20/20 Analyzer is a step forward in establishing this method into laboratory research that better separates amino acids, including difficult-to-distinguish isobaric amino acids, which have identical masses.
With more than twice the speed of existing chromatography systems, the internal standards established by the tagging reagents ensure the accuracy of quantitation.
"The Amino Acid 20/20 Analyzer is a reliable and powerful tool for the researchers in biopharmaceutical quality control and nutritional testing," said Andy Boorn, president of MDS Sciex.
"The combination of our robust and high performance mass spectrometers with the easy-to-use software will bring greater accuracy and speed to their testing."
Biopharmaceutical companies conduct amino acid analysis as standard practice for purposes such as quality control and optimising biology discovery lab applications.
Amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, are analysed to measure and characterise proteins.
This process is utilised in a variety of applications that include biopharmaceutical quality control and assessment of the nutritional value of foods, beverages and animal feed.
The Amino Acid 20/20 Analyser is the result of an Applied Biosystems and MDS Sciex venture and is based on Applied Biosystems/MDS SCIEX's triple quadrupole mass spectrometers.
It uses proprietary chemistry reagents (iTRAQ), which provide a way to label the amino acids that are subsequently analysed for accurate quantitation.
The new system also incorporated the new Cliquid applications software; which was designed to make mass spectrometry-based applications easier to use.
"As the first mass spectrometry-based system to meet unmet needs of the amino acid analysis market such as higher throughput and accurate quantitation of key amino acids - this system extends Applied Biosystems/MDS SCIEX's technologies for additional use in pharmaceutical companies, food testing facilities and research centres," said Laura Lauman, division president, Proteomics & Small Molecule Division, Applied Biosystems.
Amino acid analysis is typically performed using chromatography, which dates back to the 1950s. And while a proven technology, the chromatography-based process is known by the research community to be rather laborious and prone to breakdowns.