The Center for Analytical Research and Technology (CART) of University of Liege has been created in 1999 after the dioxin crisis. It is a unique analytical platform highly specialized in mass spectrometry services to academic partners, industrial customers and governmental agencies. The essence of our center is to make benefit of our academic research in developing new methods, providing data of highest quality and responsive service to clients. CART has an established reputation in ultra-trace analysis of various halogenated persistent organic pollutants (POPs) including PCDDs, PCDFs and PCBs in food and feed using state-of-the-art mass spectrometer instruments. Our methods are fully automated, resulting in short turnaround times. CART is also accredited ISO 17025:2017 (BELAC 157-TEST) and is the Belgian National Reference laboratory (NRL), together with Sciensano (Brussels), for halogenated POPs in food and feed and Process contaminants including neoformed compounds such as furan, acrylamide, PAHs, MCPDs and glycidyl esters.
In 2007, the Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, in view of the growing importance of the field of Proteomics, decided to benefit from the strong background in mass spectrometry of biomolecules and in quantitative analysis to set up a proteomics facility. The initiative was supported by the University and funded by the European Union and Wallonia. The existing quality system of the CART (accredited ISO 17025) was adapted to the field of proteomics and biomolecule analysis using mass spectrometry.
Nowadays, the Proteomics Facility offers services ranging from mass determination to identification and relative quantification of thousands of proteins from biopsies, cells extracts or laser microdissected FFPE tissues for differential label-free proteomics. Besides proteomics, the platform also offers services of proteins characterization (sequencing, post-translational modifications, heterogeneity…) and targeted quantification (biologics, biomarkers…). The platform can provide supports to researchers from academia and industry in designing and performing proteomic and in a larger extend to mass spectrometry-based experiments. Collaborative projects can also be set-up from full method development to improvements of existing SOPs.
Since 2012, the MSLab, which hosts the GIGA Proteomics Facility, has the agreement of the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products (FAHMP) for qualitative identification of proteins. It allows the facility delivering analysis certificate for proteins used as raw material by GMP companies. The high-quality services offered to customers are constantly updated thanks to the ongoing researches from the MSLab.
The interuniversity MS-Quanta platform is dedicated to the identification and the absolute quantification of (poly)peptide biomarkers in large cohorts. Based on two perfectly complementary facilities, located at the University of Liège (GIGA proteomics – MSLab) and at the University of Mons (BioProfiling UMONS/ULB), MS-QUANTA is a collaborative research platform funded by the European Union and Wallonia, under the 2014-2020 framework program of the European Regional Development Fund. The specificity of this platform is the validation of biomarker candidates using different mass spectrometry technology and in two laboratories working as one platform. Within MS-Quanta, researchers have access to multi-sites validation and cross-MS technologies validation which ensures a better robustness of the validated biomarkers. MS-QUANTA is open to all actors in the biotechnology sector and the analyses are performed under a common quality assurance management system between the two sites.