American Chemical Society, Journal of Proteome Research, 5(14), p. 2360-2366
Over the past few years, awareness has risen that for mass-spectrometry-based proteomics methods to mature into everyday analytical and clinical practices, extensive quality assessment is mandatory. A currently overlooked source of qualitative information originates from the Mass spectrometer itself. Apart from the actual mass spectral data, raw-data objects also Contain parameter settings and sensory information about the mass instrument. This information gives a detailed account of the operation of the instrument, which eventually can be related to observations in mass spectral data. The advantage of instrument information at the lowest level is the high sensitivity to detect emerging defects in a timely fashion. To this end, we introduce the Instrument MONitoring DataBase (iMonDB), which allows us to automatically extract, store, and manage the instrument parameters from raw-data objects into a highly efficient database structure. This enables us to monitor the instrument parameters over a considerable time period. Time course information about the instrument performance is necessary to define the normal range of operation and to detect anomalies that may correlate with instrument failure. The proposed tools foster an additional handle on quality control and are released as open source under the permissive Apache 2.0 license: The tools can be downloaded from https://bitbucket.org/proteinspector/imondb.