MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry

Next Generation Bacterial Identification at WADDL

Maldi MachineWADDL utilizes MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer in its arsenal of diagnostic tools! MALDI-TOF stands for Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry, an instrument that allows our microbiologists to quickly identify bacteria based on the organism’s protein composition. The MALDI-TOF uses a unique “protein fingerprint”, or spectra, from the bacteria of interest, which is then compared to a library of known spectra to produce an identification.

Thanks to this technology the bacteriology lab can identify bacteria as early as one day after the specimen arrives at the laboratory. Once the microorganism is isolated it can be accurately identified within minutes rather than 2-7 days using traditional testing methods. This allows WADDL to produce accurate and molecular-based results faster than ever.

MALDI-TOF can be utilized in various research and pathogen discovery projects in the Washington State University community. Currently, WADDL is using the MALDI- TOF to develop in-house protein fingerprint libraries for bacteria of interest, as well as peak analysis to identify differences related to taxonomy and virulence. We are able to collaborate with researchers in a wide range of various projects. Contact us if you are wondering if MALDI-TOF would be of interest for your research project at 509-335-9696.