Category: Automation and High-Throughput Technologies

1177-C - Application of Acoustic Interface for Ultra High Throughput Mass Spectrometry in Drug Discovery

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

One of the limitations of mass spectrometry that has limited its application as a tool for high throughput screening has been sample processing time. By removing the separative sample preparation step and using acoustic spray technology we are able to fire samples into the mass detector at a rate of 3 per second. However, running at this speed presents significant problems in terms of data acquisition, processing and plate handling. In AstraZeneca’s HTS facility at Alderley Park we have integrated a simple robotic plate handler with the acoustic MS system to enable processing of 150 plate batches. A single data file is generated for each 150 plate batch, the acquired spectra is then time sliced using the plate barcode and well position data from the Echo log file. Taking this approach we minimize the data processing time for each batch of plates. Using this system we have been able to screen a full 2.7 million compound collection, typically processing 105,000 samples per day and exceeding 500,000 data points per week. We will share our experiences of integrating and operating the system to support full file compound screening.

Jonathan Wingfield

Principle Scientist
Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

Joined AZ in 2000, as part of a team responsible for delivering automation solutions and technology in to the disease area teams post HTS. Was invited to establish a Lead Generation Automation team within Oncology and this evolved into a centralised biochemical screening team in 2006. The centralised team utilized leading-edge technology to deliver high-quality data to global projects, this included delivery of acoustic droplet ejection technology. When the Discovery Sciences function was established within AZ, I moved into a science role supporting biochemical SAR. I remain interested in landing technologies that can add value to our core business, one such example is the acoustic mass spectrometry collaboration between Labcyte and AZ. This project won the SLAS Innovation award (2015) and has generated a significant amount of external interest.