Mass Tag Analysis for Rare Cells and Cell Free Molecules

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2016-COOK-67303
There are many research methods related to rare cell identification given its importance to the early detection of rare diseases and cancer. Current research methods have specific problems, such as fluorescent tagging disrupts the chemistry of the cell, dilution methods lack accuracy, and mass tagging's minute scale of observation.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a method of analyzing rare cells and molecules using mass tags, filtration, ionization, and mass spectrometry. Through ionization, heterogeneous fluids, e.g., blood samples, can be processed for a better mass reading once the samples go through an ordinary mass spectrometer. Since it is not an additive refinement process, there is no concern for the disruption of the cell's chemical makeup. This method can determine whether there is a presence of rare cells, identify the cells, and quantify the number of cells. With all of this data, more accurate diagnoses can be made.

Advantages:
-Quantifiable data
-No chemical alterations

Potential applications:
-Molecule identification
-Rare disease diagnosis
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