High-Throughput Screening

RapidFire365‐MS: High-Throughput Screening Mass Spectrometer

Image of a Rapidfire high-throughput screening system
Overview: RapidFire365‐MS is a mass spectrometry based approach that provides an automated, label free, direct injection assay, using 96‐well and 384‐well plate format, to assess small molecule inhibition of target enzymes and can also be used for enzyme kinetic studies. The RapidFire365‐MS system comprises a conventional Agilent 6550 quadrupole‐time of flight mass spectrometer coupled directly to a very high-throughput robotic sample injection system, providing a sample throughput rate of 1 sample per ~9 seconds. It takes approximately 1.5 hour per 384 samples. Dedicated software enables deconvolution of data and automated integration using Agilent’s Mass Hunter software platform.

Management of the system: The RF‐MS system is managed by the Mass Spectrometry Research Facility, which is based in the Department of Chemistry and will be overseen by the facility director, James McCullagh. Dr Tony Tumber has over 6 years direct Rapidfire MS research experience and will be the instrument scientist and principle user of the system. Together they coordinate instrument use by allocating project time, work with and make bookings on behalf of users and look after the day‐day use and upkeep of the system. It should be noted however, Tony has not been employed to run a Rapidfire service and is involved in other research activities.

How to access the RapidFire‐MS system: All co‐applicants on the BBSRC RapidFire award will be given priority access to RF‐MS as will other BBSRC‐funded researchers. For those wishing to use the system for the first time please contact James McCullagh with an overview of the planned project or usage and the name of a nominated researcher who will submit samples. The researcher will then work with Tony to arrange analysis of samples. Tony will run samples on the instrument for all new projects. Due to anticipated high usage we would prefer to keep the number of different users from a single PI’s lab to a minimum and where possible a single user per PI is encouraged (although this person can be the representative for multiple projects that run in parallel).

Booking and costs: The cost of maintaining and running the system will be recovered via a charge for use model. The cost for co‐applicants and BBSRC‐funded users is £26.30 per plate and for non‐BBSRC users is £52 er plate (this equates to £18 or £36 per hour respectively). A purchase order request for payment will be sent to the PI of the lab approximately every quarter or after completion of analysis for one off use. We would welcome inclusion of some time to cover technical support on any relevant future grant applications where significant usage is expected (0.1 FTE or equivalent per project).

Collaborative research: We encourage a collaborative approach to research publications where appropriate. Whilst it is recognised that it may not always be merited, where a relevant contribution to the research in terms of expertise, knowledge or ideas, has been made, we would hope that person was included as a co-author on publications. If this is not desired it would be useful if this could be made clear at the start of the project, the assumption will otherwise be that research is undertaken on a collaborative basis.

We look forward to working with you using RapidFire‐MS high-throughput screening!