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SRMS4HESUS Report Summary

Project ID: 280271
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: Switzerland

Final Report Summary - SRMS4HESUS (Super-resolution mass spectrometry for health and sustainability)

Understanding fundamental chemical and biological processes in nature and technology requires the knowledge of the identity, quantity, structure and interaction networks of the molecular world. The complexity of our molecular world requires an increased sophistication of analytical techniques for its comprehensive characterization. The SRMS4HESUS action addressed a particular approach for improving the depth and accuracy of molecular analysis via innovations in the generation and analysis of "molecular" big data coming from the state-of-the-art mass spectrometers. The latter ones are the devices sometimes referred to as “molecular balances” as they allow to analyze molecules based on their precisely measured masses. The ERC Starting Grant support enabled us to coin the term, to consolidate and to spear-head a new analytical field “super-resolution mass spectrometry” by developing the underlying theory and definitions, implementing both known and novel hardware and software solutions for enabling super-resolution mass spectrometry, and demonstrating applications advantages of the introduced super-resolution mass spectrometry in comparison with the state-of-the-art mass spectrometry. Methods and techniques developed within the SRMS4HESUS action improved performance of mass spectrometry to see and quantify more metabolites, peptides, and proteins from biological samples. In the long run, these advances should accelerate biomarker and drug research, diagnostic analysis in the clinics, as well as our access to the personalized medicine. The introduced methods and techniques enhance the immediate research environment in academic and industrial analytical research centers by making available a powerful signal processing software framework which uses the developed and revisited here algorithms for data analysis and a high-performance data acquisition electronics system for improved data acquisition from modern mass spectrometers. The associated improvement in mass spectrometry productivity will translate into proportional economic benefits, particularly from the improved return on the investment into the state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation (mass spectrometers) by the research departments in the analytics-related academia and industry. Nowadays, the super-resolution mass spectrometry field sees a bright future and may become a widely-employed technology, similarly to other super-resolution techniques already in use in imaging and spectroscopy. Therefore, the original vision of the SRMS4HESUS action matches the momentum in the approaches to the analytical measurement techniques, advanced signal processing and “big data” analysis at the fore-front of modern science.

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