Automated Sample Preparation

Discover the future of LC-MS/MS

Since several years, LC-MS/MS technology is making an important breakthrough in the field of clinical research. The progress of tandem MS or MS/MS in that field is mainly due to its ability for high sensitivity detection, high selectivity, as well as possibilities of multiplexing compounds in one analysis without the risk of cross reactions inherent to immuno-assay tests.

Fully Automated Sample Preparation Module for LCMS
Fully Automated Sample Preparation Module for LCMS
Source: Shimadzu

While IA (Immuno-Assay) remains the most used technic, the shift to LC-MS/MS is constantly increasing for several type of analysis like immunosuppressant, vitamin D or steroids panel, and could be even faster if not slow down by some limiting factors. The most important one is the sample preparation. It is nowadays the bottleneck in the complete process for LC-MS/MS analysis.

Thanks to Shimadzu's UFMS (Ultra-Fast Mass Spectrometry) technologies including ultra-fast polarity switching (5ms), short pause time (1 ms), multi MRM (555/s), and fast scanning possibilities (30000 uma/s), combined to the well-known robustness of Shimadzu systems, LC-MS/MS has proven to be a powerful tool in clinical research and the cost per analysis was decreased significantly.

As mentioned before, the bottleneck remains sample preparation which is often tedious, is subject to risk of errors, and is also increasing the risk of contamination for people dealing with sample preparation.

In order to fill the gap and building on the experience of Shimadzu to produce clinical analyzers, a system to automatize the pretreatment of blood or other biological samples before LCMS analysis has been developed by Shimadzu. It is a fully automated Sample Preparation Module named CLAM-2000 (Clinical Laboratory Automated sample preparation Module). The CLAM-2000 (RUO) is an automatic pretreatment system designed for customers that handle blood samples in pharmaceutical departments, medical departments, or biological analysis laboratories that are dealing with issues of variability in analytical results or infection risk.

Shimadzu has released this new and unique fully automated sample preparation module (RUO, for research use only), connected online to LC-MS, to the four major clinical research markets in Europe (ie Germany, France, Italy, and Spain) as a first step. The system is open and allowing the use of homebrew methods or commercial kits as long as the manual preparation steps can be adapted on the system.

Available pretreatment processes include:

  • dispensing samples,
  • dispensing reagents,
  • stirring,
  • suction filtration,
  • incubation,
  • automatic transfer of sample vials to an SIL-30AC auto-sampler after pretreatment.

The direct detection of disease related to biological compounds in blood, urine, or other biological samples, the measurement of trace concentration levels of drugs, and other applications are possible thanks to Mass Spectrometry, but, by using the CLAM-2000 unit in front of your LC-MS:MS system, you will improve your quality of data. By simply placing blood collection tubes in the system, the CLAM-2000 performs all other processes through to LCMS analysis automatically. Unlike standard dispensing systems/robots, that are based on batch processing 96-well plates, the CLAM-2000 is completely automatic from pretreatment to analysis and processes individual samples successively in parallel. Consequently, it results in uniform pretreatment times between samples, without slowing processing speed, and improves data reproducibility and accuracy.

In addition, to keep a maximum degree of flexibility and to adapt to future needs, the CLAM-2000 is compatible with the full range of Shimadzu's LC-MS/MS:

The system offers a simple Graphic User Interface (GUI) via a touch panel to simplify the monitoring of the unit (full LCMS system) as well as tables to follow the work load of the system and tools to organize the maintenance.

Consequently, the new CLAM-2000 is the first system in the world able to perform all steps fully automated from pretreatment of the sample to LC-MS/MS analysis, requiring only the simple task of placing the blood, or biological fluids collection tubes, reagents, internal standards and specialized pretreatment vials in the system.

It also features excellent management functions that can provide a dramatically improved workflow with better safety for clinical research and higher reproducibility.

This product is intended for research use only (RUO). Not for use in diagnostic, therapeutic, and medication procedure.


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