Applications of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry in clinical proteomics

Viviana Greco, Cristian Piras, Luisa Pieroni, Maurizio Ronci, Lorenza Putignani, Paola Roncada, Andrea Urbani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: The development of precision medicine requires advanced technologies to address the multifactorial disease stratification and to support personalized treatments. Among omics techniques, proteomics based on Mass Spectrometry (MS) is becoming increasingly relevant in clinical practice allowing a phenotypic characterization of the dynamic functional status of the organism. From this perspective, Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight (MALDI-TOF) MS is a suitable platform for providing a high-throughput support to clinics. Areas covered: This review aims to provide an updated overview of MALDI-TOF MS applications in clinical proteomics. The most relevant features of this analysis have been discussed, highlighting both pre-analytical and analytical factors that are crucial in proteomics studies. Particular emphasis is placed on biofluids proteomics for biomarkers discovery and on recent progresses in clinical microbiology, drug monitoring, and minimal residual disease (MRD). Expert commentary: Despite some analytical limitations, the latest technological advances together with the easiness of use, the low time and low cost consuming and the high throughput are making MALDI-TOF MS instruments very attractive for the clinical practice. These features offer a significant potential for the routine of the clinical laboratory and ultimately for personalized medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-696
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Review of Proteomics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 3 2018


  • Analytical factors
  • biological fluids
  • biomarkers
  • clinical proteomics
  • mass spectrometry
  • pre-analytical factors
  • precision medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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