Label-free in vitro potency assays are an emerging field in drug discovery to enable more physiological conditions, to improve the readout quality, and to save time. For this approach mass spectrometry (MS) is a powerful technology to directly follow physiological processes. The speed of this methodology, however, was for a long time not compatible with chemiluminescence- or fluorescence-based assays. Recent advances in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) instrumentation paved the way for high-throughput MS analysis of label-free assays for large compound libraries, whereas electrospray ionization (ESI)-based mass spectrometers equipped with RapidFire autosamplers were limited to medium throughput. Here we present a technological advancement of the RapidFire device to enable cycle times of 2.5 s per sample. This newly developed BLAZE-mode substantially boosted the ESI-MS analysis speed, providing an alternative technology for label-free high-throughput screening.
Keywords: RapidFire; high-throughput mass spectrometry; label- free; trimethylamine.