Advancements in automation for plasma proteomics sample preparation
Automation is necessary to increase sample processing throughput for large-scale clinical analyses. Replacement of manual pipettes with robotic liquid handler systems is especially helpful in processing blood-based samples, such as plasma and serum. These samples are very heterogenous, and protein expression can vary greatly from sample-to-sample, even for healthy controls. Detection of true biological changes requires that variation from sample preparation steps and downstream analytical detection methods, such as mass spectrometry, remains low. In this mini-review, we discuss plasma proteomics protocols and the benefits of automation towards enabling detection of low abundant proteins and providing low sample error and increased sample throughput. This discussion includes considerations for automation of major sample depletion and/or enrichment strategies for plasma toward mass spectrometry detection.