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Solid phase microextraction-based integrated platform for untargeted and targeted in vivo brain studies

Principal Investigator:
  • Janusz Pawliszyn, University of Waterloo
Team Members:
  • Dajana Vuckovic, Concordia University 
  • Clement Hamani, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • CQDM
  • Ontario Brain Institute

Project Overview

This project proposes to integrate the low-invasive, non-lethal in vivo sampling/sample preparation SPME approach with MS detection to obtain the full profile of brain metabolome and lipidome, the quantification of drugs and monitoring of their metabolism, selective extraction of target compounds (drugs or selected endogenous metabolite), as well as high resolution chemical imaging of deep brain structure. This integrated analytical platform will result in fewer animals involved in the drug discovery process because no biospecimen (tissue or fluid) withdrawal is required. This in turn will reduce the overall cost of analysis, and will allow for the creation of a uniform drug discovery protocol that avoids the need for multiple sample preparation methods and the need for large animal cohorts to obtain sufficient tissue to perform all analyses needed during drug discovery process. The proposed integrated analytical platform increases the quality of the in vivo analysis during the drug discovery process and enables to obtain more information on the effect of the stimuli on brain functioning, which allows to better understand the mechanisms behind the disease or/and its treatment. The non-lethal nature of the sampling and easy-to-operate brain sampler will significantly reduce the number of animals used, eliminate statistical inter-individual variability, and allow for the observation of long term effects of drugs in the same animals. In vivo SPME would provide breakthrough for next-generation technology in neuroscience research by bringing more effective medicines to the clinic and to the market, increasing the efficacy of existing drugs, reducing the R&D costs, time to market or the risks related to development of new drugs.