This program was developed for clinical laboratory professionals with experience using tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) for laboratory analyses. It would benefit technologists who wish to improve their technical skillset, as well as directors or supervisors who would like a course on issues that affect mass spectrometry testing operations. The content of this program is at the intermediate level and covers the resolution of technical issues with HPLC and mass spectrometry hardware and related mass spec assay troubleshooting and assay maintenance, quality control as well as common post-analytical problems. This program is appropriate for learners who have first-hand exposure to the technology through prior use.
The program is composed of nine courses, listed below. Each course can be completed online in approximately 1-3 hours and contains a lecture, slides and transcripts, and a quiz. Some include recommended readings. Enrollees can communicate questions or comments using the program discussion board.
- System Suitability Testing and Preventive Maintenance
Y. Victoria Zhang, PhD, University of Rochester Medical Center
Reviews the goal and criteria of system suitability testing and preventative maintenance.
- Sample Preparation
Brian Rappold, Collinsvile, IL
Describes the sample preparation steps to maintain sample integrity, and explains approach batch building, extraction precision, and documentation.
- Liquid Chromatography for Mass Spectrometry: Operations and Troubleshooting
Reviews liquid chromatography fundamentals, system suitability tests, LC maintenance and troubleshooting.
- Mass Spectrometry Troubleshooting
Alan Rockwood, PhD, ARUP Laboratories
Explains how to identify and use QA tools to develop troubleshooting and maintenance plans for mass spectrometry technology.
- Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry
Uttam Garg, PhD, Mercy Children's Hospital
Discusses the components of gas chromatography mass spectrometry, its advantages and limitations, as well as troubleshooting techniques.
- Data Review: Going from Peaks to Numbers
Joshua Hayden, PhD, Weill Cornell Medical Center
Describes best practices for integrating peaks and how to implement protocols for manual peak integration. Explains how to calculate and assess relevant quality assurance metrics, and how much data to review.
- Quality Control and Quality Assurance for LC-MS/MS; Hydrolysis and Derivatization
Julia Drees, PhD, and Sarah Shugarts, PhD, Kaiser Permanente
Identifies sources and types of QC matrix best suited to LC-MS/MS assays, and lists quality indicators for data analysis. Identifies the inherent QA/QC challenges of deconjugation and derivatization reactions and specifies appropriate strategies to work around these.
- Troubleshooting Calibration for Clinical Mass Spectrometry
Stephen Master, MD, PhD, Weill Cornell Medical Center
Explains the range of analytical components that affect calibration of assays, describes the implications of nonlinear calibration curves, and identifies steps in calibrator preparation and storage that affect accuracy.
- Dealing with Change
Autumn Breaud, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
Describes how clinical LC-MS/MS labs handle lot changes, explains instrument service and decommission, longitudinal and source material changes, analytical changes in testing methodology, and changes to software and personnel.