General Description of LC & MS Services

SERVICES OFFERED

The ACL presently offers four types of service for its chromatography and mass spectrometry instruments and they are:

(1) Instrument only access. This service is designed for clients who have assays developed in-house and just need an instrument to run them on.

(2) Custom assay design: This service is designed to assist clients who have an analytical problem to solve and need an instrument, some expertese and access to a library of UPLC columns and UPLC solvents to solve it.

(3) Panel assays: These services are designed to provide clients with access to a robust assay designed to quantify a series of pre-defined analytes.

(4) Educational services: These services are designed to train clients to operate the ACL's instrumentation if they should desire to do so.

The ACL offers these four services in multiple tiers so that the client may tailor the delivered service to both their needs and their available budget. Note that the cost access to the instrument (including the costs of maintenance and calibration) are factored in to all prices, the difference between each tier of service offered hinges upon whether the client expects the ACL to provide either the consumables or the labor to perform the assay or both. The benefits provided to the client at each service level are summarized in the table below. 

SERVICE DESCRIPTION

SERVICE

RESPONSIBILITY FOR CHEMICAL STANDARDS

RESPONSIBILITY FOR CONSUMABLES

RESPONSIBILITY FOR UPLC COLUMN(S)

RESPONSIBILITY FOR SAMPLE PREPARATION

RESPONSIBILITY FOR RUNNING THE INSTRUMENTS

INSTRUMENT  ONLY ACCESS

SELF-SERVICE

CLIENT

CLIENT

CLIENT
(Using approved UPLC column)

CLIENT
(Using approved method)

CLIENT
(Pre-trained by the ACL)

FULL-SERVICE

CLIENT

CLIENT

CLIENT
(Using approved UPLC column)

CLIENT
(Using approved method)

ACL

CUSTOM ASSAY DEVELOPMENT

LEVEL ONE

CLIENT

ACL

ACL

ACL
(Client supplies tissue)

ACL

LEVEL TWO

CLIENT

CLIENT

ACL

CLIENT
(Using approved method)

ACL

LEVEL THREE

CLIENT

CLIENT

CLIENT

CLIENT 
(Using approved method)

CLIENT

(Pre-trained by ACL)

STANDARDIZED PANEL ASSAYS

LEVEL ONE

ACL

ACL

ACL

ACL

(Client suplies tissue)

ACL

LEVEL TWO

ACL

ACL

ACL

CLIENT

(Using approved method)

ACL

LEVEL THREE

ACL

ACL

ACL

CLIENT

(Using approved method)

CLIENT

(Pre-trained by the ACL)

EDUCATIONAL SERVICES

USER TRAINING

Users given practical, hands-on training sufficient to operate the ACL's UPLC and UPLC-MS equipment with minimal supervision. Fees charged to cover the cost of consumables only.

 

CONDITIONS OF SERVICE

Instrument Only Access Service:

  1. The ACL will provide the UPLC solvents and glassware associated with making and using these solvents as a means to ease the maintenance burden on these instruments.

  2. ACL staff must approve the assay procedure that the client intends to run.

  3. The ACL will provide common mobile phase components for free. Exact details are given here.

  4. The client is expected to furnish their own consumables (authentic standards for calibration, auto-sampler vials etc.) and UPLC column. Previously the ACL provided its clients a column from the "communal column library."

    • As of July 2017 the ACL will discontinue this policy. This new policy will simplifying the task of troubleshooting cross-contamination or fouling or physical damage meted out by previous users. Using a single column for an assay (or even related assays in a particular lab), will improve the batch-to-batch repeatability of the assay and the half-life of these $900 items.

Custom Assay Service.

  • The Custom Assays service is designed to assist clients in developing or adapting UPLC or UPLC-MS assays as required. The service is divided into three phases.

    1. During the feasibility phase, the ACL will search the literature for appropriate UPLC-MS methods that correspond to or may be adapted to the analysis of the desired analyte. Credible methods will be tested (using compounds or biological samples supplied by the client) in order to demonstrate the feasibility of conducting the assay.

    2. During the design phase: If no methods are available or modifications are required to an existing assay, ACL staff or ACL supervised and trained staff will endeavor to develop the method (sample preparation included if necessary) using ACL consumables and (if appropriate) the ACL's column library.

    3. Feasibility phase: Once the custom assay has been designed and tested with purified samples, a "dry-run" if you will. The question being answered is whether -- in the biological matrix of interest -- "is this method sensitive enough to detect the endogneous analyte at levels seen in actual biological samples?" This is the phase in which the LoD and LoQ (respectively: limits of detection and quantitation) will be determined for the matrix being examined. 

Panel Assays.

The Standardized Panel Assays are intended to provide the client with a pre-established, quality-controlled assay for specific analytes or analyte classes.

  1. The ACL provides all of equipment required to perform the assay from tissue homogenization to data analysis.

  2. The ACL provides all assay materials (apart from the tissue or fluid being analyzed) required.

  3. The client only pays for the assay materials consumed in the execution of their assay. This is accomplished by charging the client a set fee for all injections (aka LC-MS runs) required to complete their study.

  4. The ACL defines injections as any and all of the following: LC-MS runs required for quality control, external calibration, each sample (including all technical and biological replicates requested), and each column wash run (if required).

    IMPORTANT: This means that the design of an assay will dictate the ultimate cost of ACL services; clients are adivsed to discuss their assay design with ACL staff prior to ordering ACL services.  

  5. The per injection fee covers the following materials:

    • Sample Preparation Materials: Bead-beating vessels & Zirconium oxide beads, extraction solvents, solid phase extraction media (as appropriate) & vessels, concentration equipment & vessels, and labeling consumables.

    • UPLC-MSMS Analysis Consumables: UPLC guard column, UPLC resolving column, UPLC Solvents, Auto-sampler supplies, vessels, instrument maintenance, instrument calibration,

    • No-data -- no-pay guarantee. If your samples do not yield data due to instrument failure or faulty handling by ACL-staff, you will not be charged for that sample or one subsequent attempt to re-extract and run that sample. The exceptions to this rule are:

      • Samples that were not prepared or transported according to instructions.

      • Samples where the analytes are not present at concentrations below the limit of quantitation.

      • This guarantee only applies for service level one and two. Service level two is for clients who wish to prepares their samples using the ACL's facilities, equipment and the ACL-developed standard operating procedures. 

Last modified: Sep 06, 2017
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