Several New Investments in Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Infrastructure at Utrecht University

The Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry & Proteomics group, embedded within Utrecht University’s Faculty of Science has recently made significant investments in mass spectrometry and proteomics infrastructure. The new infrastructure underscores the university’s pioneering and leading role in these scientific fields.

Proteomics infrastructures play a crucial role in addressing complex questions in the life sciences. They make it possibly to investigate how life is organised at the molecular level of all proteins. To meet future challenges in speed, sensitivity, and high throughput, the Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics group at Utrecht University recently acquired four new instruments. Each instrument offers unique strengths and opportunities.

Here's a breakdown of the new acquisitions:

Bruker timsTOF Ultra
This instrument is mainly dedicated to HLA ligandome analyses, a key first step in cancer vaccine development, and for the ultrasensitive analysis of small sample amounts, as needed for single cell proteomics.

Sciex ZenoTOF
Acquired to enhance capabilities in de novo sequencing and glycoproteomics.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Orbitrap Eclipse
Primarily aimed at boosting capabilities in quantitative proteomics, phosphoproteomics, and top-down proteomics.

SpectroSwiss Data Acquisition System
Coupled with an Orbitrap UHMR, this system enhances capabilities in single molecule mass spectrometry, particularly in analyzing macromolecular complexes.

Researchers working on mass spectrometry instruments.
Clockwise on the picture: (A) the Bruker timsTOF Ultra, (B) the Sciex ZenoTOF, (C) the Thermo Fisher Scientific Orbitrap Eclipse, and (D) the SpectroSwiss Data Acquisition System coupled with an Orbitrap UHMR, operated by researchers at Utrecht University

Breakthrough publication

Collaboration with SpectroSwiss and Thermo Fisher Scientific has already led to a breakthrough reported in Nature Methods (5 March 2024). The group has achieved a world-record in mass resolution for single ions of macromolecular such as immunocomplexes and nanocages.

Pioneering role

The expansion of the proteomics infrastructure underscores the group's commitment to maintaining a pioneering role in research and development of biomolecular mass spectrometry and proteomics technologies. It also provides access to these facilities locally, nationally, and internationally.

Funding, support, and contact

Funding for this infrastructure expansion (around 3-4 million Euro) is supported by the NWO supported Roadmap Program X-omics, the Gravitation programme Institute for Chemical Immunology (ICI), ONCODE-Accelerator, and the European Infrastructure Program EPIC-XS. Additionally, support from the Dutch Research Council (NWO), Sectorplan BT-II, and Utrecht University's Faculty of Science is acknowledged.

These investments highlight Utrecht University's dedication to advancing scientific research and fostering collaborations between academia and industry in the field of mass spectrometry and proteomics as enabling technologies for the life sciences.

For more information about the infrastructure and ways to cooperate, please visit the website of the Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics group.