2012 Mass Spectrometer Product Survey Results

By Lab Manager

Mass spectrometry (MS) is the art of measuring atoms and molecules to determine their molecular weight. MS involves the ionization of chemical samples to generate charged molecules or molecular fragments and measuring their mass-to-charge ratio. Standard in all mass spectrometers are four fundamental parts—a sample inlet, an ionization source, a mass analyzer and an ion detector. Some instruments combine the sample inlet and the ionization source, while others combine the mass analyzer and the detector. However, all sample molecules undergo the same processes regardless of instrument configuration. Sample molecules are introduced into the instrument through a sample inlet and are converted to ions in the ionization source before being electrostatically propelled into the mass analyzer where they are separated according to their m/z. The detector converts the ion energy into electrical signals, which are then transmitted to a computer for analysis.

Reasons our readers are planning to purchase a mass spectrometer:

planning to purchase a mass spectrometer: Increase capacity / volume 19%
Integrating MS from traditional HPLC to UHPLC 6%
Looking for a complete system that includes data handling and storage 4%
Looking for more mass accuracy and resolution 10%
Looking to reduce the amount of sample prep time 7%
Looking to reduce the usage of solvent and waste 5%
Require a smaller footprint for the instrument in the lab 5%
Require higher quality data 9%
Require shorter run times / increased lab throughput 6%
Setting up a new lab 5%
Trying to reduce operating costs 5%
Upgrading older system 16%
We require more precise and accurate flow rates 2%
Other 2%

The types of mass spectrometers our readers have recently purchased or are planning on buying for their laboratories:

Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometry 3%
GC-MS 28%
Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) 14%
Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) 7%
Thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) 3%
Time-of-Flight (TOF) 13%
Triple Quad 19%
Don’t Know 9%
Other 5%

The following are the primary purposes our surveyed readers are using their mass spectrometers for in their labs:

Forensic analysis 9%
Environmental analysis 21%
Clinical analysis 11%
Food safety and testing analysis 8%
Biomarker & omics research 5%
Polymer science 4%
Drug discovery research 7%
Geological analysis 4%
Molecular biology 3%
Biochemistry 9%
Other 16%

The majority of our readers use their mass spectrometers for the analysis of mixtures of low to mid-level molecular weight compounds.

Comprehensive analysis of complex mixtures of high molecular weight compounds 8%
Controlled substance analysis 7%
Elemental analysis 8%
Environmental analysis 16%
Large molecules, like proteins and peptides 7%
Metals analysis 7%
Mixtures of low to mid-level molecular weight compounds 18%
Pure, low-molecular weight organic compounds 10%
Small molecules 16%
Other 1%

The top 10 features that impact our readers’ decisions to buy a mass spectrometer:

  Important Not Important Don't Know
High sensitivity/reliability 93% 5% 2%
Higher quality of data 91% 5% 4%
Ease of maintenance 90% 9% 1%
Data output, storage and retrieval 78% 18% 4%
Warranties 77% 15% 4%
High mass accuracy 75% 22% 3%
Training 74% 20% 6%
High mass resolution 73% 26% 1%
Onsite service/support 72% 25% 3%
Fast scanning speed 71% 26% 3%

For more information on mass spectrometers, visit www.labmanager.com/mass_spec 

Completed Surveys: 272

See the most recent results here

Categories: Surveys

Published In

Saving Energy, Saving Money Magazine Issue Cover
Saving Energy, Saving Money

Published: April 1, 2012

Cover Story

Saving Energy, Saving Money

In 2002, when Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley, California, decided to build the Molecular Foundry laboratory, they employed the help of Steve Greenberg, an in-house energy management engineer.