PhD student of the week: Davide Pellegrini

I am a Biophysical Science PhD student at Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa (Italy). I attended my master degree at University of Pisa in Chemistry and I won a 1 year scholarship at the ICCOM Institute of CNR in Pisa.
My PhD project is focused on the development and optimization of a microfluidic device for the proteomic investigation of tumor tissue samples. The ability of microfluidic devices to manipulate small sample amounts, avoiding sample transfers and minimizing sample losses, will be explored to optimize the analysis of ultra small tissue samples for the molecular characterization of the tumor microenvironment in breast cancer by LC-MS/MS.
My research project has begun with a comparison of recently reported methods for the analysis of volume-limited samples (standard in-solution digestion, FASP and SP3 digestion protocols) and the most promising one will be adapted to microfluidic technologies. The SP3 protocol was found to be particularly suited for the analysis of low sample amount (from 100000 down to 500 HeLa cells), providing a higher number of protein identifications and a higher reproducibility compared to the other protocols tested.
Figure 1. Number of protein groups identified (MASCOT) with the 3 different protocols tested in a 5000 HeLa cells sample.