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Mass spectrometry goes with the flow: mass cytometry and its potentials in regenerative medicine

Agnetti, G.

Numerous technical advances have characterized the proteomic field since it was first named in 1994. Some of the techniques that have driven the field, such as mass spectrometry, have undergone considerable technical development over the years. For instance, time-of-flight (TOF) mass analyzers date back to the first half of the 20th century. In the study described by Newell and colleagues a newly developed hybrid instrument, which combines a flow-cytometer with a TOF analyzer (CyTOF®), was employed to characterize CD8+ T lymphocytes in humans. Notably, contrary to traditional flow-cytometry, where multiplexing (monitoring multiple analytes at the same time) is limited by the partial overlap of excitation/emission spectra of the different fluorophores, in this case the reporters that can be measured are many and more selective (little to no cross-talk). Finally, although, to my knowledge, this cutting-edge technique has not been applied yet in the cardiovascular research field, perhaps 1 application can be anticipated, in the field of cardiac regeneration.

Citation

Agnetti, G. "Mass spectrometry goes with the flow: mass cytometry and its potentials in regenerative medicine" Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics (2012): 379–80