Sample Preparation: Mass Spectrometry Sample Submission Guide
Before submitting samples to the Proteomics Core for the suggested workflow, please follow the sample preparation guidelines listed on this page. If these measures are taken during sample preparation, mass spectrometry data has the potential to add value to your projects. Our core facility invests significant time and effort in the maintenance of equipment and may not be able to accept samples of poor quality as they may damage the performance of our instruments. However, following the steps below will allow you to ensure the quality of your samples is sufficient for submission.
- Use low-binding tubes to minimize protein loss, and Eppendorf pipette tips to minimize presence of plastic
- Use compatible detergents and reagents for sample preparation. Some ions may be incompatible with the MS instruments and affect performance (ion release, suppression, etc). Please check buffer compatibility with members of the Core prior to sample preparation in the interest of saving you time, effort and resources
- Please use HPLC-grade reagents, especially HPLC-grade water and organic solvents like acetonitrile, methanol, etc. for sample preparation
- Always use commercial electrophoresis gels and avoid keratin contamination
- Always check the pH of buffers and reagents used in the experiments
- Verify that your protein of interest is present in the sample (submit relevant documentation along with experimentation, such as quality control gels, western blots, etc.)
- Do not use polypropylene plastic or glassware washed with detergents
- Do not use autoclaved plastic material such as tips, tubes, plates, or other consumables
- Do not use hand creams and always wear gloves when handling samples. Change gloves in between sample handling steps
For clinical samples (plasma, serum, urine), kindly make sure of the following:
- Provide sample manifest with information on the decoded ID, volume and location in box, sample groups, controls, and any other relevant information
- Blood collection and separation protocols are standardized. Samples must be stored at appropriate temperatures; if proper conditions are not maintained, it will lead to protein degradation and compromised identifications
- 2D barcode matrix tubes (0.2mL) are preferred for sample preservation to help maintain scanned records of the samples
Always ensure the samples are kept at 4C during experimental workflows (unless stated otherwise in protocols), and -20C or -80C for storage and transportation purposes.