Amongst 26 presentations and posters referencing Ciphergen's SELDI ProteinChip® technology at the 51st Annual Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics held by the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, Ciphergen Biosystems announced the commercial launch of a new line of SEND ProteinChip Arrays which vastly improve the applicability of SELDI-TOF-MS. The new biochip product family, incorporating Surface Enhanced Neat Desorption (SEND) technology, represents a revolutionary advance for Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry, enabling SELDI-TOF-MS based metabolomics and greatly enhancing MS based protein ID. In SEND, the Energy Absorbing Molecule (EAM) or "matrix" is incorporated in the surface chemistry of the array. The result is that the chemical noise introduced by the application of EAM is significantly reduced, enabling low molecular weight species to be detected with greatly improved signal-to-noise while also minimizing the variability associated with matrix addition.
The first SEND product launched, named "SEND ID", is targeted to peptide mass fingerprinting applications for identification of digested proteins. The array has also been used for the analysis of small, polar molecules. SEND ID contains a hydrophobic interaction functional group to enable "on-chip" clean-up of samples. Most other approaches to this application require clean-up of the sample in a small chromatography column in addition to pre-mixing with matrix. By avoiding these steps with SEND ID, work flow is simplified and losses of sticky peptides are minimized. In addition, the suppression of interfering matrix signal results in superior sensitivity and improved sequence coverage. In comparative studies between SEND technology and traditional MALDI, protein digests are routinely detected at around 10x better sensitivity and with up to 90% sequence coverage.
The SEND ID ProteinChip Array represents a significant addition to the utility of SELDI for protein identification using either Ciphergen's full-capability ProteinChip Systems or Ciphergen's SELDI ProteinChip Interface for Tandem MS instrumentation. Studies of SEND ID arrays used in conjunction with the ProteinChip Interface for the ABI-Sciex QSTAR® instrument show excellent capability to produce peptide mass fingerprints and then directly sequence individual peptides of interest. These protein identification tools provide an important complement to the proven biomarker discovery capability of Ciphergen's ProteinChip Systems.
"SEND ID represents the first step towards a completely matrix-free world for Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry. The reduction in chemical noise and the removal of a step in the protocol that can add variability to the process has the potential to vastly improve the use of LDI MS for most protein and peptide studies. Ciphergen is now developing a variety of functionalized SEND surfaces and new SELDI applications. Future products envisioned will include reversed phase, HIC, ion exchange, IMAC and protein interaction capabilities for protein, peptide and small organic molecule applications," says William E. Rich, President and CEO of Ciphergen Biosystems.
Relevant to the SEND technology, Ciphergen was awarded United States Patent 5,894,063 directed to methods of desorbing large and small biomolecules without the need to apply external energy absorbing molecules (matrix) in June of 1999.