A century after its introduction, mass spectrometry is still an innovative technology, which, due to continuous instrumental developments and improvements, has provided important scientific insights in biochemistry, molecular biology and medicine. Now, in 2011, mass spectrometry is used to analyze various types of molecule, such as proteins, peptides, carbohydrates, oligonucleotides, estrogens, natural products, drugs, and drug metabolites. Because modern mass spectrometers have high sensitivity-ranges, they have become a very popular analytical research tool in several areas of biomedical research. Mass spectrometry is frequently applied as research tool in several different medical disciplines such as pediatrics, oncology, clinical chemistry and many more. After the introduction of more sophisticated mass spectrometry instrumentation into routine clinical laboratories, we can expect future diagnostics to be driven by new developments in for example mass spectrometry. The overall diagnosis and treatment of diseases will be improved not only by the introduction of new clinical diagnostic parameters or better quality-standard regulations for biomarker discovery and analyses, but also by routine in-vitro diagnostics. Although scientific research provides the foundation of our knowledge, a major future challenge in biomedical research is how new knowledge can be translated into clinical practice. Expectations are high that new clinical diagnostic parameters, more sensitive instrumentation, improved bioanalytical quality standards could influence modern medicine, and therefore especially highly efficient and individually orientated therapies will result from such research and the knowledge it generates, not only on the burden of certain diseases, but also on disabilities. Hopefully, biomedical mass spectrometry will help fulfill these expectations. This thesis demonstrates the diagnostic potential and advantages of innovative mass-spectrometry technology in biomedical research. It covers three medical research fields –infectious diseases, oncology and auto-immune diseases – for which we developed new mass-spectrometric bioanalytical assays to support biomedical research on several specific drugs used to treat patients.

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P.A.E. Sillevis Smitt (Peter)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Meesters, R. (2011, November 25). Application of MALDI-triple quadrupole mass spectrometry for the quantification of small molecules in biomedical research. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/30590