New Kits Speed Mass Spec
Waters has addressed the demand for measuring levels of a whole family of immunosuppressive drugs, whose use has greatly expanded in recent years. According to Mark Bruns, Ph.D., senior director for the clinical business operation, the company has introduced a new product for quantitative measurement of tacrolimus, sirolimus, everolimus, and Cyclosporin A. Known as the Waters® MassTrak™ Immunosuppressants XE RUO (Research Use Only) Kit, it provides laboratories an alternative to immunoassay test kits for research laboratory analyses. Included in the kit are reagents, internal standards, and an analytical column for performing up to 500 determinations per kit.
Dr. Bruns stated that the kit performs well in the presence of drug metabolites and addresses some of the analytical weaknesses of immunoassay technology. Currently, FDA-approved clinical tests include a kit to quantify the immunosuppressant tacrolimus in kidney and liver transplant patients by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS).
Vitamin D deficiency has received much attention in the scientific and lay press in recent years. Associations with an increased risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, and other maladies have driven a 90% increase in testing for this condition since 2007. Whereas the mechanisms of the vitamin D protective effects are complex and not completely understood, one overriding explanation resides in the fact that it is a potent inhibitor of the proinflammatory response and slows the turnover of leukocytes.
A National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey caused researchers to conclude that low levels of vitamin D were associated with a generalized increase in mortality. Among many factors that may be responsible for vitamin D’s apparent beneficial effect on all-cause mortality is its effect on telomeres and its potential effect on slowing aging.
Waters offers a new MassTrak system platform optimized for 25-Hydroxyvitamin D analysis for clinical research laboratories featuring a robotic liquid-handling system and Waters’ Acquity TQD System for high-throughput measurement of total 25-Hydroxyvitamin, as well as 25-Hydroxyvitamin D2 and D3. The platform is streamlined by a solid-phase extraction sample preparation step that minimizes solvent usage.
Another MassTrak product, the Amino Acid Analysis Solution, is offered as a comprehensive research tool for the analysis of physiological amino acids in urine and plasma. This product incorporates a Waters’ Acquity UPLC system with pre-packaged reagents and consumables, for application in the clinical research laboratory. The platform permits the analysis of amino acids in approximately one-third the time of traditional amino-acid analysis, Dr. Bruns said.
Finally, in the realm of clinical toxicology, LC/MS/MS is now widely used in confirmation analysis, due to its greatly simplified pretreatment requirements. At the meeting, Waters exhibited the Acquity UPLC system and tandem mass spectrometry products for the research and clinical laboratory, with many facilities using the technique for a variety of applications including toxicology, therapeutic drug monitoring, and endocrinology.