The 66th annual conference of the American Society of Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) was held June 3 to June 7 in San Diego, California. Compared to 2017 (see IBO 6/15/17), total conference turnout jumped 12.8% to reach 7,147 attendees. ASMS 2019 is scheduled for June 2 to June 6 in Atlanta, Georgia. Several companies debuted new MS products and software at the show, making for an eventful show.
Citing the statistic that 75% of lab managers say maintenance and downtime is their biggest source of frustration, at its ASMS press conference, Agilent Technologies discussed new “innovations with purpose” that would cut down on maintenance time, particularly the Ultivo LC/MS, which had been introduced at last year’s ASMS conference. In fact, it was pointed out that regular maintenance on the Ultivo takes about an hour, compared to nine hours for other MS systems. The convenience of its design and customizable software was highlighted by Carlos Sepúlveda of Agrolab Mexico, the first customer of Agilent’s Ultivo LC/MS.
Agilent announced it will now offer the InfinityLab Flex Bench, available for the Ultivo and the 1260 or 1290 Infinity II LCs. The Flex Bench offers slide-out storage shelves for these instruments for easier and more convenient access. It includes a quiet cover for the rough pump. The company also discussed support for new applications for its Ultivo system, including screening for harmful compounds in food and environmental samples.
Agilent announced, partially in lieu of marketing materials, it would donate $50,000 to 1 of 3 cancer research organizations: the Cancer Research Institute, the Lung Cancer Research Foundation or the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. Conferees were able to vote for 1 of these 3 in the Agilent hospitality suite. At the conclusion of the ASMS conference, Agilent announced that the money would be going to the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.
At its press conference, Bruker made it a point to emphasize the importance of speed, particularly in medicinal chemistry. To that end, the company’s signature product introduction was the scimaX magnetic resonance MS (MRMS), which is designed to be ideal for applications such as MALDI imaging, metabolomics, clinical phenomics and petroleomics. The scimaX is able to handle up to 200 samples a day. It offers a 1 second switch between ESI and MALDI ionization sources, a mass resolution of 20 million (unmatched in the market, according to the company) and a small footprint. It also uses the novel Bruker Maxwell magnet technology, which does not require nitrogen or helium gas for cryocooling. The unit is now shipping for a price between $1.25 million and $1.4 million.
Software was also a part of Bruker’s product introductions. The company released the Metaboscape 4.0 software package for metabolomics and lipidomics research, which enables data processing on Bruker’s LC-QTOF-MS/MS, GC-APCI-QTOF, LC-TIMS-MS and MRMS systems. There were also software updates for the timsTOF Pro, including online Parallel Accumulation Serial Fragmentation (PASEF), that accommodate improved sensitivity, speed, precision and signal-to-noise ratio.
In communicating how SCIEX’s MS solutions work to the benefit of health care, wellness and safety, the company highlighted several technologies that have been introduced recently. These include the Citrine MS/MS for clinical diagnostics and the C100HT Biologics Analyzer. SCIEX also introduced the OptiFlow Quant Solution, which delivers microflow quantitation for peptides. Fitting on the front of its triple quadrupole or QTRAP MS instruments, the system is easy to use and delivers high sensitivity, according to the company.
SCIEX announced new software updates as well, including the launch of SCIEX OS 1.4, which offers regulatory compliance with the FDA’s 21 CFR Part 11 on electronic records and signatures, as well as updated calculation data processing algorithms and automatic outlier removal. The update is backwards compatible with all SCIEX triple quadrupole, QTRAP and triple TOF MS instruments, plus the X-series QTOF MS systems.
SCIEX also introduced BioPharmaView Software 3.0 for the LC/MS Multiple Attribute Methodology (MAM) Workflow in pharmaceutical/biotechnology and CRO labs. It offers simplified streamlined process monitoring of high-resolution LC/MS assays during biologics development. This allows biologics to be characterized in a shorter time and in more detail.
Shimadzu introduced the LCMS-9030 Q-TOF MS, a research-grade system designed for high-resolution, accurate mass detection, with very fast data acquisition rates. Its quadrupole mass range is 10–20,000 m/z, and its TOF mass range is 10–40,000 m/z. Its signal-to-noise ratio is greater than 3000:1, a significant improvement over its predecessor, the LCMS-8050.
Shimadzu also introduced the C2MAP-2000 for commercial availability in North America, which provides automated sample preparation for culture media samples being analyzed by LC/MS/MS, drastically saving time. It can be operated in batch mode, the recommended method in which the pretreatment of all samples is performed first, or sequential mode, where pretreatment, dilution and LC/MS/MS analysis are performed in sequence. The C2MAP software allows the user to easily associate the treated sample and measurement results, and visually monitor the sample status on the C2MAP-2000 rack. The platform generally costs between $120,000 and $140,000.
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thermo Fisher Scientific launched the Orbitrap ID-X Tribrid MS, which combines quadrupole, Orbitrap and linear ion trap mass analyzer technology. Designed for small molecule analysis, the instrument boasts an automated novel acquisition workflow called AcquireX, an MSn library tool for custom spectral libraries, and m/z Logic for automated MSn data processing. The software can also annotate compounds using MSn and HCD/CID fragmentation to demystify unknowns.
The Thermo Scientific Q Exactive UHMR Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer was also introduced. Ideal for the structural analysis of proteins, the instrument features high sensitivity, up to a mass range of 80,000 m/z. Able to overcome the difficulty in achieving proper resolution for large protein complexes with few charges, the system offers a new window into the discovery of disease mechanisms and new biotherapeutics by offering visualizations of drug binding and drug interactions.
Also showcased at the Thermo Fisher press conference was the newest addition to the company’s line of triple quadrupole MS systems, the TSQ Fortis, which is designed for routine high-performance applications, particularly in food and environmental labs. The instrument offers high-precision analysis in complex matrices, tool-free maintenance and ease of use, according to the company.
At ASMS, Waters debuted its Xevo TQ-GC, the company’s newest GC/MS system since the discontinuation of the triple quadrupole Waters Quattro micro GC/MS several years ago. The Xevo TQ-GC is designed to be a workhorse instrument for food and environmental laboratories. The system is electron ionization based and boasts ease of use, high-performance and high-throughput capabilities. It is slated for commercial release toward the end of the third quarter.
Waters will also be releasing the DART QDa with LiveID sometime in the third quarter. The mass detector is designed to address food-authenticity testing applications, having the ability to directly analyze solid and liquid samples, with minimal sample preparation and no requirement for chromatography. The system will also be available with a Practical MS Education Package for teaching laboratories.