FlowChip: A Solution Making a Difference for the Patient at Northwestern University

January 27, 2022 – Littleton, MA (USA) Proteins matter and the ability to understand proteins and their impactful role in biology is being explored through the mass-spectrometry based characterization of proteoforms enabling the generation of maps – maps of proteoforms. Mike Lee, CEO, and Emily Ehrenfeld, President, of New Objective hosted Rafael Melani and Fernanda Negrao Silva with the Kelleher Research Group at Northwestern University in November 2021 at a webinar, where Rafael and Fernanda shared recent experiences integrating FlowChip, a solution for microflow LC-MS analysis, for Top-Down Proteomics.

The insight and perspective which Rafael and Fernanda shared during the webinar focusing on the ability to generate reproducible, robust results for the analysis of intact proteins in complex matrices with ease, via the FlowChip solution, was built on years in the making. PicoFrit, the core of the FlowChip solution, was an integral tool in the generation of data for the Blood Proteoform Atlas, as recently published by Rafael and colleagues in Science. Rafael together with colleagues across multiple departments at Northwestern and a series of collaborators including Florida State University and Thermo Scientific recently published their work – a multi-year study to generate an atlas of proteoforms found in human blood and bone marrow.

Rafael, a Research Assistant Professor at the Proteomics Center of Excellence, together with colleagues demonstrated the clinical impact of proteoforms through their specificity and location as indicators for cell type in the Blood Proteoform Atlas. Rafael along with Fernanda and colleagues at Northwestern are expanding on their work, as they apply the methods and techniques developed to generate the Blood Proteoform Atlas to support the development of non-invasive methods for monitoring liver transplants for rejection in patients using MS-based quantitative Top-Down Proteomics.

Rafael and Fernanda have taken their initial exploratory work using FlowChip and integrated this solution for LC-MS as a standard platform in their ongoing study of liver transplant samples to develop markers for organ rejection. With a validation cohort of 100 liver transplanted recipients collected longitudinally over a year, Rafa and Fernanda agree in their collective statement “I can’t see doing it any other way” in regards to the FlowChip.

New Objective, a global company and market leader in innovative solutions for nanoflow and microflow LC-MS has been making a difference for patients for over 25 years. Launching with the seminal work as published in Science by New Objective co-founder Gary Valaskovic while at Cornell with Fred McLafferty in 1996, proteomics was born and New Objective and its portfolio of solutions has been the leading edge fueling research and publications within this field since its inception. Neil Kelleher, a co-author together with Gary and Fred, has integrated New Objective solutions into multiple workflows working together with his research group at Northwestern.

Publications in the Journal for the American Society of Mass Spectrometry in 2019 and the Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research in 2020 by Kelleher and colleagues features PicoChip, a New Objective solution for nanoflow LC-MS analysis, as the standard platform for quantitative proteomic analysis of histones. Building on the foundation of SilicaTip, the iconic PicoTip emitter for low flow analysis, the integrated technology of PicoFrit at the core of PicoChip and FlowChip has been adopted into standardized workflows for quantitative bottom-up and top-down proteomic analyses at Northwestern. The ongoing quantitative studies capitalize on the reproducibility of these integrated solutions enabling the ability to scale from patient focused studies – histones to liver transplants – and accelerating into the future. Kelleher and colleagues at Northwestern together with collaborators at the Consortium for Top-Down Proteomics will be leveraging the reproducibility of FlowChip as they launch the Human Proteoform Project.