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Sep 1, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 15)

Spotlight on New Mass Spec Systems

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    The Xevo TQ-S is designed for UPLC/MS/MS applications such as biological and medical research, bioanalysis, environmental monitoring, and forensics testing. The system is capable of measuring target compounds in complex samples at femtogram levels or below, according to Waters.

    > Waters introduced two new benchtop MS instruments to its Xevo MS platform, which can be integrated with the company’s Acquity® UltraPerformance LC (UPLC®) systems.

    The Xevo TQ-S MS/MS system can measure target compounds at femtogram levels or less using quantitative UPLC/MRM technology. It incorporates StepWave™ ion-transfer technology to enhance ion-transfer efficiency and remove contaminants, as well as optics and collision cell features that enable simultaneous acquisition of MS and MRM data on 1–2 second wide peaks with >12 points/peak.

    The new Xevo G2 QTof MS/MS instrument features the QuanTof™ technology found on the company’s Synapt G2 MS and G2 HDMS spectrometers.

  • > Shimadzu showcased the new LCMS-IT-TOF®, which according to the company, yields high-precision MSn data at high speed through a broad mass range. Technological features include compressed ion induction (CII™)  in which the ion stream is converted into pulses before entry into the ion trap to control ion accumulation and pulses of argon gas that are delivered to the trap just prior to collision-induced dissociation (CID), maintaining product ion intensity as the CID energy increases.

    The instrument also incorporates ballistic ion extraction, an ion acceleration method that helps lower the spatial distribution of the ions as they enter the TOF tube. The system can perform MS or MSn measurements and includes an auto MSn function for precursor ion selection.

    > Thermo Fisher Scientific introduced MetQuest automated metabolic screening software for high-throughput drug metabolism screening on the company’s LTQ Orbitrap MS HRAM system or its Exactive family of LC/MS systems.

    Thermo positioned the combination of the LTQ Orbitrap and MetQuest software as an alternative to triple quadrupole MRM technology, offering comparable precision, accuracy, linearity, and sensitivity, according to the company, and the capability to generate this data faster and more economically and without the need for MS/MS method development.

    > PerkinElmer (PE) introduced the Flexar SQ 300 MS system, which is compatible with HPLC and UHPLC applications, incorporates a multi-stage ion path, and is controlled by PE’s new Chromera® software. The system has a mass range of 20–3,000 microns, a maximum scan rate of 10,000 microns/sec, and a resolution of <0.6 microns. It includes an electrospray ionization source and can be used with a dual ESI source or an atmospheric pressure chemical ionization source.

    > Genedata featured its Expressionist® Refiner MS software at the meeting, a module of the Expressionist system that also includes Refiner Array, Refiner Genome, and Genedata Analyst™ and is designed for biomarker discovery and molecular-profiling applications.

    Refiner MS automates raw data pre-processing across multiple MS formats based on user-designed workflows. The software corrects for high background levels, drift in retention time and m/z shifts, and allows for visualization, review, and annotation of the MS data for protein and metabolite identification.

    Covaris offers a range of sample-prep systems, including the E-series multisample ultrasonicator that applies focused acoustic energy to perform homogenization, tissue disruption, and sample extraction in 1 to 96 samples in one batch.

    The S-series instrument performs single-tube sample prep, and the CryoPrep™ system employs a freeze-fracture technique, using dry cold processing to convert solid tissue samples such as tumor, bone, muscle, or skin into fine particles.

    > Protea Biosciences showcased its Gel Protein Recovery (GPR®)-800 System, a microfluidic chip-based instrument for extracting proteins from polyacrylamide gels. Electroelution takes place simultaneously in eight parallel microchannels on the disposable chip to achieve protein extraction down to 100 ng. The GPR buffer contains a surfactant that simplifies sample degradation and cleanup in preparation for MS analysis.

    > Nanoliter’s noncontact, parallel dried droplet dispensing technology deposits nanoliter-scale, concentrated, homogeneous drops to enhance sensitivity across a variety of MS applications. The company’s Nanoliter Wave induction-based fluidics (IBF) technology uses electric fields to launch, direct, and measure liquids in a nondispersive manner.

    Studies comparing the IBF device to other approaches, such as micropipetting or use of a syringe pump, have demonstrated improvements in the signal-to-noise  ratio, polymer spread, and signal intensity, and enhanced resolution for the preparation of MALDI plates.

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