Quality Control

Quality Control in the Fingerprints Proteomics Facility

The Quality Control system exists within the Fingerprints Proteomics Facility to enable an efficient turnaround time and a high quality of results whilst also providing a smooth workflow within the facility.

Samples to be analysed on an Orbitrap Velos system must firstly be checked on the QC system (LTQ Velos) to ensure there are no contaminants that could block or damage the Orbitrap Velos systems. These could include polymers, unwanted detergents such as SDS, undigested protein or excess trypsin. These contaminants can coat the trap and analytical columns effectively poisoning the instruments which means they become much less efficient. 

By running a random selection of samples from each experiment through the more robust LTQ Velos initially, we can spot any potential problems (and resolve them) before the samples are introduced to the Orbitraps.

The introduction of a Quality control system allows the Facility to reduce operational issues and to increase throughput & reliability. Also, it can highlight any potential experimental issues that would not normally have been discovered until the samples had already been analysed by the Orbitraps.

Some suggestions on how to clean up your samples prior to submission are given below:

  • To minimise potential contamination – only use reagents/buffers and plastic ware that you have tested and found to be contamination free
  • For non-ionic detergents/PEG-like polymer – use an SCX ziptip
  • For excess trypsin – use a 10kDa MWCO spin filter
  • For undigested protein – re-digest! A double digest 4-6 hrs apart will be beneficial