Applications of Surface-Enhanced Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-Of-Flight (SELDI-TOF) Mass Spectrometry in Defining Salivary Proteomic Profiles

Sandra K Al-Tarawneh1, Sompop Bencharit1, 2, *
1 Department of Prosthodontics, School of Dentistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
2 Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

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© Al-Tarawneh and Bencharit; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the CB #7450, Department of Prosthodontics, School of Dentistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7450, USA; E-mail:


Recent advancement in mass spectrometry leads us to a new era of proteomic analysis. Human saliva can be easily collected; however, the complexity of the salivary proteome in the past prevented the use of saliva for proteomic analysis. Here we review the development of proteomic analyses for human saliva and focus on the use of a new mass spectrometric technology known as surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF). SELDI-TOF, a modification of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF), combines the precision of mass spectrometry and the high-through-put nature of protein arrays known as Protein Chips. This technology shows a promising future for salivary proteomic analysis in monitoring treatments and diseases, as well as novel biomarker discovery.

Key Words: Proteomics, mass spectrometry, biomarker, biomarker discovery, proteomic profiling, protein expression, SELDI, SELDI-TOF, protein chips.