Recent advances have been made in three areas, all concerning the measurement of trace analytes.
First, using a mass tag prepared recently in our laboratory, which boosts nucleotide response by MALDI-TOF-MS, we are discovering the exact masses of unknown DNA adducts in cell cultures. One application of this assay is the discovery of genotoxic impurities, metabolites, or degradation products as part of drug development. The assay also can be applied to environmental samples. Second, a new class of derivatization reagents, termed “Intensified Neutral Loss Tags,” has been developed which boost and normalize response for electrospray mass spectrometry. Third, an ultrasensitive assay based on electrophore derivatization has been set up for estradiol, to measure this steroid hormone in very small biosamples, as from cohort studies.
Overall, this work, which is part of the Environmental Cancer Research Program, is targeted to improve the usefulness of DNA adducts as biomarkers for cancer or cancer risk.
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