High-throughput multiplexed proteomics of small-volume biospecimens will generate new opportunities in theranostics. Achieving parallel top-down and bottom-up mass spectrometry analyses of target proteins using a unified apparatus will improve proteome characterization. We have developed a novel silicon-based microfluidic device, multinozzle emitter array chip (MEA chip), as a new platform for small-volume proteomics using liquid chromatography-nanoelectrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC-nanoESI-MS). We demonstrate parallel, on-chip, and online LC-MS analysis of hemoglobin and its tryptic digests directly from microliters of blood, achieving a detection limit of less than 5 red blood cells. Our MEA chip will enable clinical proteomics of small-volume samples.
Reference: “Multinozzle Emitter Array Chips for Small-Volume Proteomics,” (2013) Analytical Chemistry, 85(2), 816-819.
SINGLE CELL OMICS
Cellular heterogeneity that arises from stochastic expression of genes, proteins and metabolites is a fundamental principle of cell biology, but single cell analysis has been beyond the capability of ‘omics’ technology. This is rapidly changing with the recent examples of single cell genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics.
The rate of change is expected to accelerate owing to emerging technologies that range from micro/nanofluidics to microfabricated interfaces for mass spectrometry to third- and fourth-generation automated DNA sequencers. As described in this review, single cell analysis is the new frontier in omics, and single cell omics has the potential to transform systems biology through new discoveries derived from cellular heterogeneity.
Reference: “Single Cell Analysis: the New Frontier in ‘Omics’,” (2010) Trends in Biotechnology, 28(6), 281-290 (Cover review, June 2010).