Prot-HiSPRA was based on a strong consortium bringing together small- and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), universities and research organisations. This ensured a strong innovation and exploitation during the project.
The main objective of Prot-HiSPRA was to remove time-consuming bottlenecks of existing proteomics Technologies (sample preparation, fractionation, proteolysis, separation, data collection, and data mining) that will bring the proteome driven Analysis into time sensitive clinical practise. Prot-HiSPRA is planned for the duration of 36 months which is necessary in order to ensure a high-quality validation of the developed high-throughput methodologies.
One of the major bottlenecks in proteomics analysis is the laborious sample preparation. Proteolysis is one of the most important steps for protein sequencing in proteomics research integrated with chromatographic separation and fractionation of peptides and subsequent mass spectrometric detection.
Researchers used columns as well as nanoparticle-based techniques to remove highly abundant proteins present in the culture medium and isolate the desired peptides for subsequent analysis. They developed novel hardware that facilitated peptide separation and digestion in a high-throughput manner. Subsequent analysis was performed by HPLC chromatography and the whole process now required only two hours.
Overall, the PROT-HISPRA proteomics system has enormous potential to be applied in the clinic towards the analysis of various pathological samples. Given the functional importance of proteins in health and disease, a swift, easy and cost-effective device would facilitate a more accurate diagnosis. Furthermore, it could be utilised to monitor the course of treatment, minimise side-effects and improve the outcome of therapy.