Measuring the amount of specific proteins present in the body can help to diagnose diseases that are otherwise difficult to identify. This has been a challenge and even the best existing technology, known as MaxQuant, is not great at measuring low concentrations of proteins and performs poorly in certain situations.
Now researchers at State University of New York at Buffalo have developed a proteomics system called IonStar, which they have shown to be able to provide close to perfect accuracy when measuring and comparing concentrations of proteins present in different individuals.
According to University at Buffalo, IonStar “lowered the amount of missing data in results from 17 percent to 0.1 percent,” when comparing against MaxQuant.
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IonStar increases accuracy and precision and lowers missing data by improving on sample preparation methods, alignment and feature detection designs for mass spectrometry analysis.
“For example, in clinical trials, comparing a handful of patients gets you nowhere,” says [Jun Qu, PhD, professor at U at Buffalo’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences]. “If you can analyze a large number of patients with high-quality data, you can discover and track biomarkers much more accurately and reliably. The same is true for pharmaceutical investigations.”
Researchers used IonStar to quantify proteins in rats with traumatic brain injury, a debilitating condition that accounts for 2.2 million emergency room visits annually in the United States.
Using 100 tissue samples, IonStar identified 7,000 proteins, including 1,000 that differed in abundance, without missing data.
IonStar also measured low-abundance proteins with higher accuracy and precision than other prevalent analysis tools. This capability is critical, says Qu, because proteins that appear in smaller amounts play a more influential role in the body.
Study in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences: IonStar enables high-precision, low-missing-data proteomics quantification in large biological cohorts…