Mass spectrometry in the diagnostic laboratory Mauro

Tonolla, Mauro and Benagli, Cinzia and De Respinis, Sophie and Gaia, Valeria and Petrini, Orlando (2009) Mass spectrometry in the diagnostic laboratory Mauro. Pipette, 3. pp. 20-25.

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Mass spectrometry (MS) was developed at the beginning of the 20th century and is generally used to acquire knowledge of molecular structure based on a mass spectral pattern consisting of a number of structurally related mass spectral peaks. Since the first report showing the ability of MS to detect biomarkers unique for selected microorganisms, knowledge and the volume of reports on this topic have dramatically increased, especially in the last five years. MALDI- TOF MS (matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation – time of flight mass spectrometry) is now increasingly used in the diagnostic laboratory as a cost effective, rapid and reliable tech- nique for the identification and typing of microorganisms. This article aims to provide an overview of this technol- ogy, which was to have a major impact on microorganism diagnostics.

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