Mass production makes it possible to bring thousands of gadgets to your home, kitchen and office. The application stores on your mobile devices have millions of products ranging from analyzing the stock market to time-killing games. Sometimes it is difficult to resist buying something trendy or well-promoted by media. But what happens with most electronics after time? We end up with millions of old gadgets stockpiled in drawers. The situation is worse with kitchen tools gathering dust.
It is not surprising this fade-out also happens with expensive laboratory equipment like liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry instruments. When making a buying decision for an expensive item for your household, some like to make a list of pros and cons. When it comes to the selection of laboratory equipment it is not uncommon to acquire a “one-trick pony” device, which after the initial excitement, is moved to the corner, storage room, or trash.
But what if the dream of having an all-in-one family van with sports car characteristics is the reality for low-flow liquid chromatography? You don’t need to make a painful choice or waste the laboratory budget to have multiple systems with limited functionality.
The Thermo Scientific™ UltiMate™ 3000 RSLCnano UHPLC system is an industry-standard in nanoLC-MS proteomics. Several thousand systems coupled with state-of-the-art, high-resolution accurate-mass Thermo Scientific™ Orbitrap™ mass-analyzers or triple-quadrupole mass-spectrometers run samples across the world daily. However, what is not well known is the versatility of the UltiMate 3000 RSLCnano allows more than nanoLC separations with long columns and maximum peak capacity for deep and reproducible proteome profiling.
The UltiMate 3000 RSLCnano system with Thermo Scientific™ ProFlow™ technology is enabling fast gradient formation with precise and accurate flow that extends the application areas:
The standard methods for reproducible high-throughput profiling of protein digests, including the most complex crude serum samples with 180, 100, 60, 30 or 24 samples analyzed per 24 hours, are now available for download from the Thermo Scientific AppsLab Library so you can easily deploy them in the lab without changing nanoLC hardware or even fluidics.
The UltiMate 3000 RSLCnano system is also upgradable with the capillary-flow meter so you can balance throughput with loading capacity and maintain sensitivity of low-flow rates combined with precise active flow control. This recent Nature Comm. paper describes standardization and harmonization of multi-center analysis supporting precision medicine studies where several labs used the capillary-flow version of UltiMate 3000 RSLCnano system for robust quantitative proteome profiling.
[caption id="attachment_23049" align="aligncenter" width="1430"] Figure 2. The typical separation profiles of Cytochrome C protein digest and HeLa protein digest with capLC-MS analysis.[/caption]
If you are not limited by sample amounts and want to avoid nano-sources, positioning, and replacing emitters, the installation of the micro-flow meter will allow you to run applications with 1.0 mm ID PepMap columns to achieve thousands of injections. The micro-flow version of the pump is also a base for hydrogen-deuterium exchange (HDX) mass spectrometry setup for protein structure characterization.
It is up to you to decide if the versatility of low-flow LC is valuable. Just remember, you must adapt to a fast-changing world, and research tools must be ready for any type of high-sensitivity LC-MS applications to push research forward.