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Analytical Chemistry

Inside Instrumentation

Technology and Business news for the laboratory world

by Celia H. Arnaud and Ann M. Thayer
June 25, 2007 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 85, Issue 26

Credit: FEI
Credit: FEI

FEI launches electron microscopes

(1) FEI is offering what it calls the world's smallest table-top scanning electron microscope. The 11- × 22- × 19-inch Phenom magnifies up to 20,000 times and costs about the same price as high-end optical microscopes with much lower magnifications. In February, the Oregon-based company introduced the Phenom-Ed for the science education market. Separately, FEI is offering the Expida 1255s dual-beam scanning/transmission electron microscope. The unit integrates ion-beam sample preparation and 30-kV imaging in a single instrument for the analysis of semiconductor wafers.

ABI opens access, Federal program ends

Applied Biosystems Inc. has an early-access program under way for its new SOLiD DNA-sequencing system. The system uses proprietary oligonucleotide ligation and detection technology for ultra-high-throughput sequence analysis. ABI is accepting orders and has shipped units to several research institutions with which it is developing medical research and health care applications. Meanwhile, the Department of Defense has ended a contract with ABI to develop a detector for infectious diseases. Although ABI met technical milestones, the company says the two sides could not agree on plans for further development and commercialization.

A2 offers portable FTIR spectrometers

Credit: A2 Technologies
Credit: A2 Technologies

(2) A2 Technologies, Danbury, Conn., has developed a range of portable Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometers. Its Mobility Series consists of the ML, MLp, and MLx spectrometers for use in real-time process monitoring in the petrochemical industry, in food analysis, and in mining applications. The units have been designed not only to be rugged and compact but also to be operated with little or no training. They feature an intuitive operating system, easy-to-use sample interface, and two detection modes for analyzing liquids, solids, oils, gels, and pastes. The Mobility Series also now includes real-time oil analysis and reporting (ROAR) software.

At the American Society for Mass Spectrometry meeting, held earlier this month in Indianapolis, companies introduced new products and enhancements of existing ones, many of which are aimed squarely at the pharmaceutical and life sciences market.

Credit: Thermo Fisher Scientific
Credit: Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific announced two additions to its LTQ Orbitrap lineup: the LTQ Orbitrap XL (3) and the LTQ Orbitrap Discovery. The Discovery is a lower price system intended to make the Orbitrap technology accessible to a broader range of laboratories, whereas the XL is a high-end instrument with mass resolving power of up to 100,000.

Bruker Daltonics launched its ImagePrep sample preparation device, which automates matrix deposition on tissue slices for MALDI imaging. The company also released its TargetAnalysis software for compound screening in complex matrices.

Agilent Technologies announced improvements to its single- and triple-quadrupole mass analyzers. The single quad now features rapid switching between positive and negative ion modes and fast scanning of 10,000 amu/second. The triple quad's mass range has been extended to 2,000 m/z.

PerkinElmer introduced a software upgrade for its ExacTag labeling technology for protein quantitative analysis. The software includes new data visualization and analysis tools that allow simultaneous comparison of up to 10 samples using any tandem mass spectrometer.

Waters is offering a new MALDI version of its Synapt high-definition mass spectrometry system. The company also introduced its IdentityE high-definition proteomics system for improved protein identification, which combines the nanoACQUITY ultra-performance LC instrument with one of two electrospray mass spectrometers.

Inside Instrumentation is written by Celia H. Arnaud and Ann M. Thayer. Contact them via e-mail to


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