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Analytical Chemistry

New And Notable At ASMS 2013

by Celia Henry Arnaud
July 8, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 27


More than 6,200 mass spectrometrists gathered last month in Minneapolis for the 61st meeting of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry. At the meeting, companies launched new and updated instruments, some of which are described here. This roundup of new products—not intended to be comprehensive—summarizes information from vendors.

Ion path in Orbitrap Fusion mass spectrometer.
Credit: Thermo Fisher Scientific
Ion path of the Orbitrap Fusion.

Thermo Fisher Scientific launched the first commercial “tribrid” mass spectrometer, the Orbitrap Fusion. The system incorporates three mass analyzers: a quadrupole, an Orbitrap, and a linear ion trap. The quadrupole is used to select ions for fragmentation in tandem mass spectrometry. The ion path is set up in such a way that selected ions can be directed to either the Orbitrap or the linear ion trap. The Orbitrap offers resolving power of higher than 450,000 and scan rates of up to 15 Hz. A variety of ion fragmentation mechanisms enabling multiple rounds of tandem MS can be performed with the ion trap. The ability to use different fragmentation methods in different rounds of MS increases the achievable amount of structural information. Because of the way the ion optics are arranged, separate packets of ions can be analyzed simultaneously in the Orbitrap and the linear ion trap to reduce analysis time. The system software features “drag and drop” method setup. Thermo Fisher also announced two new triple-quadrupole LC/MS systems—the Quantiva for high-sensitivity analyses and the Endura for increased uptime in applications such as food testing, environmental analysis, and pharmaceutical quality testing.

The Agilent RapidFire 365 LC/MS/MS system.
Credit: Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies launched the RapidFire 365 high-throughput mass spectrometry system. The system, which is compatible with Agilent’s full line of mass spectrometers, incorporates sample preparation based on solid-phase extraction (SPE). It can switch between 12 reusable SPE cartridges, with lifetimes of more than 2,000 injections per cartridge. Compared with previous systems, the RapidFire 365 has increased capacity, with automated 63-plate handling. It can run unattended for up to 60 hours, enabling weekend runs.

3200MD QTRAP mass spectrometer. Certified for clinical diagnostics.
Credit: AB Sciex

AB Sciex announced that two instruments have been approved for use as in vitro diagnostic devices in Europe. The API 3200MD triple quadrupole and the 3200MD QTRAP quadrupole time-of-flight LC/MS/MS systems have both received the CE-IVDD mark, which is required before an instrument can be used for clinical tests in Europe. AB Sciex’ instruments were previously available for research use only.

The ion path of the PerkinElmer AxION iQT.
Credit: PerkinElmer
The PerkinElmer AxION iQT GC/MS/MS system.
Credit: PerkinElmer

PerkinElmer unveiled the AxION iQT, a new quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer for use with gas chromatography. The system is compatible with various gas chromatographs, including systems from PerkinElmer and Agilent. The mass spectrometer incorporates a cold electron ionization source in which ions are rapidly cooled by expansion. Ions are thus less likely to fragment than they would be in heated ionization sources, making it possible to get molecular ions from a broader range of compounds. The instrument’s rapid scan speed allows the analysis of up to 500 compounds per second.

Phosphatidylethanolamine lipids are separated by ion mobility and mass spectrometry. The bands represent different charge states.
Credit: Jody May & John McLean/Vanderbilt
The prototype instrument can separate phosphatidylethanolamine lipids by ion mobility and mass spectrometry. The bands represent different charge states.

Agilent Technologies will soon join the ranks of companies that offer an instrument that integrates ion mobility and mass spectrometry. Ion mobility, which separates ions on the basis of their shape, provides an extra separation dimension to mass spectrometry, which is based on mass-to-charge ratio. Ions are analyzed in the instrument’s 80-cm ion mobility drift tube and then directed to its iFunnel Quadrupole-Time-of-Flight LC/MS system. Agilent’s new instrument is in final development, and the company expects production systems to start shipping at the end of 2013.

Shimadzu MALDI 7090 mass spectrometer.
Credit: Shimadzu

Shimadzu introduced the MALDI-7090 dual time-of-flight mass spectrometer. The ionization source features wide-bore ion optics to maximize ion transmission and minimize source contamination. The ionization source’s solid-state ultraviolet laser, which was designed specifically for the MALDI-7090, operates at 2 kHz in both MS and MS/MS modes. The instrument incorporates axial spatial distribution focusing to correct the spatial distribution of the ions it generates. Focusing increases the resolving power to 10,000 and makes it independent of the laser power used for ionization.

Ion-trapping “ParaCell” from SolariX XR FTMS mass spectrometer.
Credit: Bruker

Bruker’s new SolariX XR mass spectrometer takes resolving power to a new level. Commercial instruments typically achieve resolving power of well below 1 million. For this new Fourier transform mass spectrometer, the company quotes an achievable resolving power of 10 million. For more routine analyses with faster (1 second) acquisition times, the system achieves resolving power of 650,000 at a mass-to-charge ratio of 400. Such high resolving power is made possible by a new ion-trapping cell called ParaCell, based on a design by Evgeny N. Nikolaev, head of the Laboratory for Mass Spectrometry of Biomacromolecules at the Institute of Biochemical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences. The ParaCell stabilizes the ion cyclotron resonance signal over a broad mass range. The instrument features a dual-source ion funnel that allows the system to switch between electrospray and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) in 5 seconds. The instrument is available with 7-, 9.4-, 12-, or 15-tesla magnets. The high resolution makes it possible to easily determine the isotopic composition of samples. Bruker also announced new quadrupole time-of-flight and triple-quadrupole instruments, the Impact HD and the EVOQ Elite ER, ­respectively.


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