New centre of excellence for mass spectrometry
May 15, 2019
SHERBROOKE, QC – Waters Corporation has inaugurated the first ever Canadian Centre of Innovation for Mass Spectrometry in Sherbrooke. “It is absolutely fantastic to become a Waters Centre of Innovation and to be able to work with these partners. Our work is aimed at early detection of a severe illness in children, the confirmation of a diagnosis or the assurance of a better follow-up for treated patients, from early childhood to the elderly,” said Christiane Auray-Blais (pictured), professor-researcher, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the Universite de Sherbrooke and Research Centre CHUS.
“Our research in preventive genetic medicine aims to make a positive difference in the lives of patients and their families,” she said.
“The creation of the Innovation Center will provide the necessary infrastructure to pursue promising projects for early detection of childhood diseases,” said Patrick Savory, national sales manager, Waters Ltd. “We have already targeted a few projects that will be considered in the coming months, including the study of congenital cytomegalovirus.”
The research in mass spectrometry aims to improve the diagnosis of rare genetic diseases, leading to personalized patient follow-up. Several hundred patients benefit each year from mass spectrometry analyses at the CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS, among others, for the detection of a disease.
Through research, it is possible to analyze biological fluids to discover novel biomarkers, which are indicators of change, and to provide precision medicine for each patient. Targeted rare diseases include hereditary metabolic disorders in newborns and other diseases such as Parkinson’s disease or diabetes.
The advantages of mass spectrometry are numerous. They include:
- High precision, sensitivity, selectivity and speed of analysis.
- Only small amounts of body fluids (blood, urine, amniotic fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, cord blood, saliva and tissues) are needed.
The cost of an instrument may vary between $300,000 and $1 million, depending on the type of mass spectrometer used.
The first mass spectrometer in a medical center in Quebec arrived in 2005 at Fleurimont Hospital following an agreement between CHUS, Christiane Auray-Blais and Waters to develop methods for biomarker analysis.
Waters donated a Synapt G1 Quadrupole Time of Flight mass spectrometer to the CHUS Foundation. The instrument is used in the Christiane Auray-Blais’ research laboratory for the discovery of biomarkers. By 2018, there were a total of six high-tech instruments.