MALDI MS-Based Biomarker Profiling of Blood Samples

  • Ali Tiss
  • Celia J. Smith
  • Rainer CramerEmail author


Differential MS analysis of blood samples from diseased and control subjects is increasingly being employed in the hunt for biomarkers that can detect disease at an early stage. For diagnostic tests, in particular for population screening, robust protocols are required that can offer high-throughput analysis, ideally at high mass spectrometric sensitivity. To achieve this, blood samples need to be collected, prepared and analyzed in a standardized manner that minimizes potential bias. Simple purification methods combined with MALDI MS profiling have so far been championed for providing the best approach. In this chapter, we describe an adapted and validated protocol based on a simple and fast solid-phase extraction technique using ZipTips®. This protocol facilitates the purification of potential blood biomarkers in a few steps for mass spectral biomarker pattern diagnostics using MALDI. It is suitable for use in an automated high-throughput and potentially clinical environment and has the advantage of only requiring a few microlitres of blood plasma or serum. The presented protocol has been tested over several years in our laboratory and found to be more reproducible and suitable for plasma and serum profiling than similar methodologies based on magnetic bead purification.


Biomarkers MALDI Mass spectrometry Plasma/serum profiling ZipTip® technology 





α-Cyano-4-Hydroxycinnamic Acid


Low Molecular Weight


Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization


Polypeptide Calibrant Standard


Quality Control


System Suitability Test


Trifluoroacetic Acid




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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The BioCentre, University of ReadingReadingUK
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of ReadingReadingUK
  3. 3.Department of ChemistryUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

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