SampleStream: A Radically Simplified Platform for Protein Sample Preparation

Period of Performance: 09/14/2017 - 05/31/2018


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Integrated Protein Technologies, Inc.
2749 Woodbine Ave Array
Evanston, IL 60201
Principal Investigator


Abstract: The analysis of proteins, intact or following digestion, via mass spectrometry has the potential to revolutionize human health and wellness by identifying highly correlative markers for human disease and characterizing protein-based drugs. Unfortunately, the high cost of mass spectrometric protein analyses has presented a barrier to their routine deployment in medical research, diagnostic testing and quality control of biopharmaceuticals. Further, sample loss during multistep preparation procedures makes many workflows incompatible with samples (either their number or limited amount) acquired from patients or biopharma development pipelines. Despite prior investments in proteomics in the U.S., relatively few efforts are dedicated to dramatically reducing cost. This contrasts sharply with genomics, where from 2002-2008 the NHGRI explicitly funded efforts that led to next-generate sequencing. Our firm, Integrated Proteomics Technologies, seeks to expand upon an existing platform for automated preparation of diverse protein samples for Bottom Up, Middle Down and Top Down Mass Spectrometry. The platform, SampleStream, traps proteins in a fluidic channel via the action of a molecular weight cutoff membrane. Common sample preparation procedures such as buffer exchange, concentration, digestion, alkylation, can then be carried out in a manner similar to filter assisted sample preparation (FASP). SampleStream solves the challenges of many other sample preparation platforms by eliminating sample transfers, eliminating robotics, and dramatically reducing both user time and their average training level required for successful, robust operations. The resultant reductions in staff cost, consumables, and number of repeat analyses will yield a per sample savings ranging from 60-80% and forms the core of a successful business model in this space. Further, the elimination of sample transfers and precipitation steps promises to dramatically reduce the amount of sample required per analysis ? particularly for Top Down analyses on protein targets >25 kDa. Together, these effects will provide the cost savings and reduced sample amounts needed to bring proteomics into routine conversation with clinical research where the number of samples is high and the sample amount is low. With success driven by the power of positive feedback, IPT will be a leading force in the private sector to reduce costs and increase value for protein-based measurement in research environments.