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Maldi-TOF instrument will mean faster patient diagnosis

CMFT's Microbiology department has taken delivery of a Bruker matrix assisted laser desorption/ionisation time of flight mass spectrometry - or Maldi-TOF - instrument, funded through Public Health England.

This is an important step for the laboratory as part of an on-going automation programme and is one of the latest tools for the study of microorganisms.

The introduction of the Maldi-TOF will mean significant time savings and faster effective patient diagnosis.

Over the last 80 years Diagnostic Microbiology has utilised biochemical and sugar reactions to identify species and subspecies of micro-organisms-which can be a time consuming process.

The Maldi-TOF enables identification and taxonomic classification of organisms direct from culture plates without the need for further incubation or biochemical tests.

Proteomic fingerprints are compared with reference spectra in the Maldi-TOF library and the instrument provides a result in less time than conventional culture techniques, which is great news for patients.

A team from Microbiology has been busy validating the instrument and everyone involved feels this is an exciting and innovative step forward for the department.

The Maldi-TOF has already proved to be an invaluable diagnostic tool and staff are looking forward to carrying out some interesting research projects in the future.