FAQs Mass Spectrometry

Q: How do I know if APAF has received my sample for Mass Spectrometry services?

A: Upon receiving samples, APAF will log the service request and set a project code for the service requested. APAF staff assigned to the project will send you a confirmation email, identifying your samples, provided you have supplied a correct email address.

Q: When do I expect to have the result after submitting sample?

A: All samples are placed into a queue for analysis based on sample receipt date. Please contact us prior to sending your sample if you need you sample to be serviced urgently. For MALDI Mass Spectrometry and 1D nanoLC ESI MS/MS analysis for protein identification, we aim to have the report sent to you in electronic format within 15 working days after receiving the sample. For intact protein mass analysis, the report will be sent to you within 10 working days.

Non routine services generally take longer times. Please be aware that mass spectrometers can occasionally experience downtime that is beyond the control of APAF staff. Delays can occur as replacement parts must be imported from overseas and fitted by Mass Spectrometry service vendors. Depending on the type of Mass Spectrometer service requested, some customers may experience delays in sample processing during these instrument downtimes. In the case of any extensive delay APAF staff will notify the customer and advise them of the length of such delay.

Q: How do I know what service to select?

A: If you are unsure of which service to use, please contact us at info.apaf@mq.edu.au and provide a brief description of your project.

Q: How much sample is needed for the service?

A: This depends on the type of services.

For intact protein mass analysis using ESI MS technique

1 mg of solid sample is normally sufficient. For liquid samples the protein concentration to be no less than 5 pmol/ul and no less than 20 ul

2D LC ESI MS/MS of complex protein samples

50 ug up to 200 ug of total proteins would be needed.
For 1D LC ESI MSMS of complex protein samples 2 ug up to 50 ug of total proteins would be needed.
For protein identification from 2D gel spots we recommend you cut and submit the whole spot

Provided that you can accurately detect the spot from the gel, we can usually provide useful spectral data. Please be aware that keratin contamination is a commonly problem seen with faint gel spots (i.e. ratio of keratin to protein of interest is high). Take precautions when excising gel spot. Keratin contamination can be introduced from skin flakes, hair, dusty lab environments, contaminated excision instruments, etc.

Q: How do I send samples to APAF?

A: You can post your sample to us in a safe mailing envelop with the completed MS Service Request Form and purchase order form. You may also send samples with the forms by courier.
Dried or gel samples can be shipped at room temperature.
Liquid samples should be shipped frozen in dry ice.
If you are sending samples from overseas, it is essential that you visit the Quarantine Guideline section on this web site and accurately follow the quarantine instructions when sending samples.

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