Surface Enhanced Laser Desorption Ionization (SELDI) is a mass spectrometry technique used to analyze proteins and other complex mixtures of biomolecules. SELDI utilizes a chemically reactive surface known as a "protein chip" to interact with proteins in solution. There are many different types of surfaces available such as: Anion Exchange, Normal Phase, metal binding surfaces as well as reactive surfaces that can interact with free amine groups on proteins to immobilize them. Using these surfaces proteins can be partially purified on the chip and then quickly analyzed in the mass spectrometer.
SELDI can be used in several different kinds of applications which include, but are not limited to:
- Protein profiling and Biomarker discovery.
- Protein-Protein interactions.
- Protein-Nucleic acid interactions.
- Identification of proteins by tryptic digest.
- Determination of the protein properties prior to purification.
Currently we are attempting to enhance our ability to do protein biomarker discovery. This powerful technique allows an investigator to generate a protein profile or "fingerprint" of patient samples such as serum or urine. Software is available to analyze these complex protein patterns and allow the patterns to be used as markers for specific diseases or treatment outcomes. For example, specific protein profiles have been shown to be associated with different stages of ovarian carcinoma. This technique has the potential to provide diagnostic tools for diseases that are normally difficult to diagnose or monitor.