= Emerging. More than 5 years before clinical availability. (26.62%)
= Expected to be clinically available in 1 to 4 years. (38.91%)
= Clinically available now. (34.47%)
MSACL 2020 US : Cody

MSACL 2020 US Abstract

Keynote Presentation

Topic: Various OTHER

Podium Presentation in Room 3 on Wednesday at 14:00 (Chair: Chris Cox)

The State of the DART: Does Direct Analysis in Real-Time Mass Spectrometry have a Future in Clinical Chemistry?

Robert Cody (Presenter)

Presenter Bio(s): Robert B. (Chip) Cody received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1982 as one of the first four students in Prof. Ben S, Freiser’s research group. After graduate school, he worked at Nicolet Instruments developing methods for Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry until 1989 when he joined JEOL USA, Inc. Among other achievements, he is responsible for developing the trapped-ion tandem-in-time MS/MS and MSn techniques, laser-desorption in a trapped ion mass spectrometer, Electron Impact Excitation of Ions from Organics (EIEIO) and is coinventor of the DART ion source. He has consulted with NASA on the Mars 2020 Rover project, served as Vice-President for Arrangements for the American Society of Mass Spectrometry and was awarded the 2011 Anachem Award and a 2012 Purdue University Distinguished Alumni Award. In addition to numerous publications, patents and book chapters, he is co-editor (w

Authors: Robert B. Cody


It has now been 17 years since a patent was filed describing the Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) ion source, yet no clinical applications of DART MS are currently in use. This is not to say that DART has no potential for clinical applications! As an ambient ionization method, DART has several attractive characteristics for clinical chemistry. DART analysis is rapid and robust, and can be applied to a wide range of analytes. In combination with a high-resolution and/or tandem mass spectrometer, DART can be quite sensitive and selective. Point-of-care applications are possible if DART is combined with a compact mass spectrometer.

Several promising DART applications have been reported. Because it produces a broad profile of small-molecule biomarkers, DART is well matched with chemometric analysis for speciation and classification. Two published feasibility studies have shown the potential for microbial identification using DART MS. The first (from CDC and GA Tech) used in-situ methylation and DART to identify bacterial fatty acid profiles. The second study found that free fatty acids from a simple extraction method could identify ten different pathogens. Another study from the Fernandez lab at GA Tech showed a DART method for ovarian cancer screening with statistics that showed 100% accuracy!

Clinical toxicology is another area of potential application. DART is well established for forensic drug screening. That same capability could be used to screen for drugs and toxins to guide treatment in victims of poisoning or overdose. With relatively simple sample handling methods, detection limits for drugs in body fluids are suitable for rapid screening. DART has demonstrated the potential for monitoring drug excretion kinetics and in at least one case, detection of biomarkers for disease conditions. In a recent study, we have found that DART can be combined with another ambient ionization method (Coated Blade Spray) to provide complementary data from minimal sample volumes.

So, why has DART not yet found a place in clinical chemistry? Commercially available laboratory systems have been on the market for 15 years, and portable systems are also now commercially available. Perhaps the answer is just a need for early adopters who are willing to carry out clinical validation studies, much as the VA DFS did for forensic drug screening.

Financial Disclosure

SalaryyesJEOL USA, INc.
Board Memberno
Stockyes IonSense, LLC
ExpensesyesMSACL will cover some expenses
IP RoyaltyyesMass Mountaineer software royalties

Planning to mention or discuss specific products or technology of the company(ies) listed above: