Improved Mass Spectrometry for Sensitive and High-Throughput Whole Proteome Quantification

Web Published:

Princeton Docket # 10-2578


Current generation fourier-transform mass spectrometers (the Orbitrap and FTICR) coupled to online liquid chromatograpy (LC) separation and electrospray ionization (ESI) allow quantification of thousands of ions in complex mixtures. However, whole proteome tryptic digests, containing hundreds of thousands of peptides, which overwhelm the capabilities of these instruments.


Researchers in the Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University have developed an LTQ- Orbitrap based-method for targeted quantification of intact peptides, specifically implementing a novel use of the intermediate-storage only C-trap.


This invention will enable whole proteome quantification in a single liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LCMS) experiment by selectively targeting specific ion populations for quantification. Specifically, this invention will overcome current difficulties in the ability to detect low abundant ions.  A typical LC-MS/MS experiment yields quantitative information for only around 500 of the most highly abundant proteins from an organism.  The method described by the Princeton researchers is easily generalizable to any ion population, and not limited to modified peptides, lipids, and metabolites. It can potentially measure the masses and abundances for over 10,000 constituents in one complex sample. This invention will be of great utility to biologists and other researchers, potentially enabling efficient whole proteome quantification and could be implemented as a software enhancement to the commercially available LTQ-Orbitrap.



Quantification of multiple ion species in complex samples for

·        Quantitative genetic studies

·        Drug discovery



·        Accurate detection of low abundance ions

·        Increased sensitivity

·        Enhanced throughput



Joshua Bloom is a graduate student in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University.


Intellectual Property status

Provisional application has been filed.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Laurie Tzodikov
Licensing Associates
Princeton University
Joshua Bloom
life science research tools