WP2 is clearly devoted to in vivo real-time diagnosis and to the development of novel instruments. Two instruments have been developed. One is more advanced and is devoted for guiding surgery in a non-invasive manner by providing in vivo MS analysis in real-time using an infrared-based OPO-laser. The project is named Spidemass. The second one is in emergence and is devoted to real-time diagnosis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) based on low-temperature plasma (LTP) coupled to mass spectrometry, named Snoop-I.

SPIDERMASS : Intra-operative diagnostics for oncology

Support : ANR, INCA, SiricOncoLille , SATT Nord

Partners : CHRU Lille, Comprehensive Care Center Oscar Lambret, OCR, EAL Lancet

Data collection for diagnosis and prognosis of pathologies represent critical information for the physicians and surgeons to make a decision for the subsequent step of treatment and uptake of the patients. Nowadays, tumour grading is still largely performed through microscopic examination of biopsies using histology and immunohistochemistry techniques. These examinations remain difficult especially for data reading (leading to a more or less important variability inter-exam) or are targeted to certain selected markers. These exams are complicated if the surgeons need the information during surgery. Using conventional tools, it is still remains difficult for surgeons to determine pathological tissues and excision margins. There is a need to develop a totally novel instrument usable in the operating room and allowing the collection of information in real time to obtain a fast and precise diagnosis and prognosis for a personalized treatment. SpiderMass is such novel guided surgery instrument. SpiderMass is an infrared (IR) AP MALDI MS system with a remote ion source for in-vivo real-time conditions. By laser excitation of endogenous water molecules it was demonstrated that in-vivo real-time analysis of molecular signatures from tissue surfaces, such as human skin for example, could be achieved, allowing the detection of metabolites and lipids with masses up to 2000 amu (1 amu = 1 Da = 1 u). In the SpiderMass system, an optic fiber guides the IR laser beam to a handpiece designed for manually scanning the tissue surface. The gas phase ions produced by the laser irradiation are transferred through a thin, flexible tube by aspiration to the atmospheric pressure inlet of an MS instrument, yielding a ‘spectral fingerprint’ of the tissue’s metabolome in real-time


(A) Schematic representation of the SpiderMass instrument. (B) Typical time evolution of the total ion current (TIC) recorded by the MS instrument for an irradiation period of 30s. (C) Typical MS spectrum acquired in negative mode extracted by averaging the MS spectra over the full irradiation period. (D) Optical microscope images from bovine liver tissue sections obtained after irradiation allowing determination of the maximum ablation depth. (E) Photographs of the SpiderMass prototype system showing the optical fiber guiding the laser to the handpiece for surface scanning, as well as the transfer line leading to an MS analyser (Orbitrap, Thermo Fisher Scientific).

SNOOP-I : non-invasive and real-time analysis tool for the detection of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Support : I-Site, ULille, SATT Nord

Partners : Comprehensive Care Center Oscar Lambret, OCR

 snoop i

SNOOP-I aims to develop a new non-invasive and real-time analysis tool for the detection of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) to enable early diagnosis of cancer and follow-up of patients during treatment. SNOOP-I is a project to develop a new non-invasive and real-time analysis tool for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) to enable early diagnosis of cancer and follow-up of patients during treatment. Indeed, patient survival is closely correlated with the ability to diagnose the disease early at a stage where it remains localized. Being able to perform an early diagnosis, in a totally non-invasive way in real-time and on a large scale is therefore an important societal issue. Various studies demonstrate the ability of VOCs released by the body in the breath, urine, faeces or skin to provide highly specific and sensitive molecular signatures for cancer detection. Here we want to develop an electronic dog based on robustness, extreme sensitivity (up to ppt) and the ability to detect complex molecular signatures of mass spectrometry to obtain a real-time and large-scale analysis system ladder. The project will be organized around the development and optimization of the new instrument, then the creation of banks and the identification of the VOCs associated with cancers. Finally, the system will be tested for the analysis of VOCs originating from samples of patients, firstly canines then human.