Mass Spectrometry Unit

General aspects
The Mass Spectrometry Unit (MSU) is a well-established reality within TLS consisting of a multidisciplinary team which, by combining mass spectrometry with bioinformatic data processing, deals with the cross-sectional analysis of a wide variety of samples to investigate their protein and metabolic profile.
The team’s know-how enables it to offer highly advanced expertise in the field of studies on Small Molecules (derived from different matrices such as biological fluids, supernatants and plant matrices), biomolecules such as proteins and antibodies, and proteomic and metabolomic analysis applicable to different research fields.
The optimisation and fine-tuning of highly customisable workflows by means of mass spectrometry has led to the activation of numerous collaborations to support internal and external research projects and third-party services following the Quality Policy, attracting not only Tuscan but also national and international bodies and universities.
The implementation of specific bioinformatic analysis approaches adaptable to different scientific needs completes MSU’s analytical capacity.

The MSU unit obtained ISO 9001:2015 certification on 7 March 2024, n. Q/1765/24 and the quality management system is applied to the following activities: ricerca, sviluppo, progettazione ed esecuzione di servizi (prove analitiche) basate su spettrometria di massa e test in vitro e relative elaborazioni di dati bioinformatici.

The main analytical activities include accurate mass measurement of low/medium molecular weight analytes, molecular weight determination of biomolecules (proteins and antibodies), identification of proteins by mass fingerprinting and MS/MS analysis, determination of the drug-to-antibody ratio (DAR), and development of analytical methods with UHPLC-ESI-MS/MS. As far as proteomics is concerning, the development of methods for the identification and quantification (label free or labeled) of proteins by shotgun analysis is set up. Additionally, the MSU deals with analysis and targeted/untargeted UHPLC-ESI-MS/MS of metabolites in different culture media, biological fluids and plant matrices. These activities are supported by qualitative and quantitative bioinformatic data.
Current research activities mainly concern the field of rare diseases and botanicals.

Research group

Laura Salvini,  

Laura Tinti,  

Vittoria Cicaloni,  

Paola Nezi,  

Mattia Cicogni

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In recent years, the increasing commitment of TLS to in-house research has produced a significant growth of the scientific contribution of the foundation’s researchers