The use of mass spectrometry in biomarker discovery and molecule identification
Wood, William L
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Over the past few years greater emphasis has been placed on biomarker discovery. Of most importance is identifying potential protein biomarkers of disease in biological fluids. Identification of such biomarkers would allow diseases to be identified faster and more reliably. This would lead to a faster diagnosis and more appropriate treatment. In order for this to be achieved, analytical tools that allow rapid screening, low sample consumption, and accurate identification of biomarkers need to be developed. Mass spectrometry is an analytical tool that is typically used for structural characterization of a wide variety of compounds. It is easily coupled to separation techniques (liquid chromatography or gas chromatography), allowing for the analysis of complex mixtures by mass spectrometry. This combination provides a powerful tool for the identification of biomarkers in biological fluids. The majority of this dissertation will focus on biomarker discovery in breath, human tissue, and amniotic fluid. Methods developed for biomarker discovery of two disease states, meningitidis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) will be discussed, along with the results produced by these methods. Method development for identification of biomolecules in amniotic fluid will also be discussed.