New publications for NAPI researchers at the University of Oslo

Recent publications cover the development of 'smart samplers' for proteomic analysis of patient samples collected remotely, as well as the importance of liquid chromatography in the advancement of single cell proteomics. Both papers constitute collaborative efforts between different NAPI partners.

Smart samplers: towards proteomic analysis of patient samples that are collected remotely

NAPI partners Trine Grønhaug Halvorsen and Leon Reubsaet, who lead the Smart Protein Analysis Group at the University of Oslo, have a research focus on the development of 'smart samplers' that enable analysis of patient samples collected remotely (e.g. for the detection of biomarkers for disease diagnosis or monitoring). Such samplers provide a major benefit in that they avoid the need for patients to visit hospitals for sample collection, which can be important for people living in less populated areas, or who have restricted ability to travel. 

Smart sampler containing immobilsed trypsin 'scissors' (A), and an overview of the workflow that ends in mass spectrometry-based analysis (LC-MS) analysis of proteins from patient samples. Source: Pizzi, E. et al (2021).

While the concept of patients providing samples (e.g. blood) 'on paper' that can be sent in the post is not new, Halvorsen and Reubsaet are looking to develop novel smart samplers where the early stages of sample processing occurs almost immediately, meaning the samples are ready for analysis as soon as they arrive at the lab - a quick and easy method for disease diagnosis/monitoring. You can read more about the 'lab-on-paper' approach in an earlier news item on the NAPI website.

In a recent publication, the researchers report new findings towards the development and implementation of smart samplers that facilitate the analysis of proteins in patient samples. This represents new challenges, as proteins represent much larger molecules compared to the analysis of small molecules that is more established for paper-based sample processing. The article is published in the open access journal Separations, and investigates the addition of trypsin - a commonly used enzyme for protein digestion ahead of mass spectrometry-based protein profiling - to the paper samplers. The study is also authored by Christian Koehler from the NAPI core facility at IBV, University of Oslo. You can read the paper in full on the MDPI website.

Single cell proteomics

In another recent publication, several NAPI partners from the University of Oslo and the University of Bergen discussed advances in the field of single cell proteomics. 

Whilst the analysis of DNA and mRNA at the single cell level has helped to provide valuable novel insight into genetic/transcriptomic heterogeneity amongst e.g. different cell populations within a single tumour, single cell-level analysis of proteins has been hampered by technological challenges. However, that picture is now changing, and recent advances in proteomic technologies have made single cell proteomics a realistic goal.

Multiple LC approaches for single cell proteomics. Source: Røberg-Larsen, H. et al (2021)

In their recent review article, NAPI partners Steven Ray-Wilson (UiO), Frode Berven (UiB) and Tuula Nyman (OUS/UiO) discuss the importance of liquid chromatography (LC)-based peptide separation in the advancement of single cell proteomics. They provide an overview of current cutting-edge chromatography techniques used by researchers today, as well as some alternative LC strategies that could play an important role in future workflows.

The article was published in the journal Analytica Chimica Acta, and can be read in full on the Science Direct website.


Published June 10, 2021 3:13 PM - Last modified June 11, 2021 10:19 AM