Eberlin Lab

Intraoperative and Medical Mass Spectrometry

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Intraoperative and Medical Mass Spectrometry

Our team has made significant contributions to the field of in vivo MS analysis by developing and translating MS systems to the operating room, thereby enabling in vivo molecular measurements of the dynamic metabolic information that can help stratify disease and guide treatment decisions for patients in real time. A major development in tissue analysis by MS that was pioneered by our group is the MSPen technology. The MSPen employs solid-liquid chemical extraction to directly analyze and identify unmodified tissue samples within seconds. The resulting mass spectra display rich molecular profiles capturing hundreds of naturally occurring biomolecules extracted from the tissue’s cells. Thus, the MSPen is widely applicable for molecular analysis of various tissues and diseases.

To interpret the complex data, we have also developed a suite of advanced statistical tools for prediction of an output, e.g., tissue type or disease state, and achieved high accuracies for cancer diagnosis based on novel metabolic biomarkers. Importantly, the gentle solvent-based extraction process enables ex vivo and in vivo analyses without tissue damage, thus opening a new field in chemical sensing of tissues that can be broadly explored and expand various research studies in biomedical sciences.

Since its inception, the MSPen technology has generated immense interest from scientific and medical communities and stimulated new research applications. We have continued to advance the technology and extend its application through multiple collaborations and ongoing funded research projects, including cancer diagnosis and subtyping, surgical margin evaluation, surgical robotics, COVID-19 and other infectious disease identification, and in vivo natural products analysis.