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Diagnostics Analytical science, Oncology, Technology and innovation, Omics

Real-Time Tumor Analysis

How can we make cancer surgery more efficient? At the moment, there’s approximately a half-hour waiting time built into the procedure so that pathologists can inspect the excised tissue to make sure all the cancerous matter has been removed. Now, a research group from France is adding to a growing list of mass spectrometry-driven tools that aim to speed up the process.

“We started by developing a technology to enable in vivo mass spectrometry analysis to target applications for medicine,” says Isabelle Fournier, Professor of PRISM Laboratory at Université de Lille. “In our first prototype, we demonstrated that we could perform in vivo analysis with mass spectrometry without being invasive – using the system, SpiderMass, to analyze our skin (1). The technology we developed is based on using the endogenous water of biological tissues as a MALDI matrix.” They dubbed the process Water Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization – or WALDI. Initially, the system was used to detect lipids and metabolites – but, in a recent study (2), the researchers expanded their remit, using SpiderMass to detect and analyze peptides and proteins from cancer biopsies in real time.

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About the Author

William Aryitey

My fascination with science, gaming, and writing led to my studying biology at university, while simultaneously working as an online games journalist. After university, I travelled across Europe, working on a novel and developing a game, before finding my way to Texere. As Associate Editor, I’m evolving my loves of science and writing, while continuing to pursue my passion for gaming and creative writing in a personal capacity.

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