A Bruker timsTOF fleX instrument, which combines ESI and MALDI imaging, was installed in January 2021 at the Proteomics Core Facility at the Institute for Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo/Oslo University Hospital (PCF-OUS).
Video: Bruker Daltonics
The timsTOF Flex instrument from Bruker makes use of the same TIMS and PASEF technologies that are part of the Bruker timsTOF Pro instrument. Read more about these cutting-edge analytical techniques on our webpage for the timsTOF Pro, which was recently installed at the NAPI core facilities at the University of Oslo and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU).
Unlike the timsTOF Pro, the timsTOF fleX instrument is equipped with both electrospray ionisation (ESI) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) ion sources. This enables so called ‘SpatialOMx’ where the combination of MALDI imaging and ESI can reveal the spatial localization of target compounds on tissue extracts (e.g. for analysis of the protein architecture of tissue sections from patients suffering various diseases).
On one and the same platform the MALDI source can be used to map the distribution of molecules in a sample and identify regions of interest (MALDI imaging), whilst subsequent extraction and preparation of the sample for ESI-based LC-MS/MS enables highly sensitive identification of the protein components.
The analysis of complex samples such as tissue sections benefit from TIMS-based analysis, since it allows the separation of isobaric or isomeric metabolites, lipids, peptides or glycans to assess the true spatial localization of analytes.
The timsTOF fleX at PCF-OUS is also equipped with real-time database search capabilities called PaSER (Parallel database Search Engine in Real-time; see video below). This tool substantially reduces time-consuming data processing steps that typically occur after the LC-MS/MS run of each sample. Instead, databases searches are performed in parallel with the MS run, meaning completed search files are ready for downstream analysis immediately after the MS run ends.
Video: Bruker Daltonics
If you are interested in using the timsTOF fleX for your research project, contact PCF-OUS directly, or alternatively email the NAPI Administrative Manager. Contact details are available on our contacts page.