Mass spectrometers, measuring the mass-to-charge ratio of charged particles to determine their molecular weight, have not quite become a routine acquisition for every lab that might benefit from them. Four parts are standard in all mass spectrometers: a sample inlet, an ionization source, a mass analyzer and an ion detector.
Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Mass Spectrometer
- What factors come into play when determining the MS specifications you require in terms of throughput, sensitivity, robustness, software control, ease of use, and ease of maintenance?
- What differentiates the vendor’s MS from others offered, in terms of performance and how easy it would be to upgrade?
- How do you validate the specification claims presented by the vendor?
- Has the data processing software been designed for enhanced analytics, with lab workflow in mind and does it support critical compliance requirements?
- What are important price points to keep in mind when selecting a MS?
- Laboratories need fast and effective services, including an effective distribution of spare parts, instruments, service personnel and education/ training. How does the company serve these needs globally?
Type(s) of stand-alone mass spectrometer systems recently purchased or to be purchased by our survey respondents:
|Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)||16%|
|Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)||5%|
Type(s) of integrated mass spectrometer systems recently purchased or to be purchased by our survey respondents:
|LC-MS time of flight (TOF)||10%|
|LC-MS ion trap||8%|
|GC-MS ion trap||6%|
|GC-MS electron ionization (EI)||6%|
Top ten features/benefits survey respondents look for in mass spectrometers:
|Higher quality of data||94%|
|Ease of maintenance||91%|
|Data output, storage and retrieval||85%|
|High mass resolution||76%|
|Fast scanning speed||75%|
|High mass accuracy||74%|
Survey respondents are using their mass spectrometers to perform the following analyses:
|Test water quality or food contamination||32%|
|Determine structures of drugs and metabolites||23%|
|Screen for metabolites in biological systems||20%|
|Perform forensic analyses||18%|
|Quantitate (relative or absolute) proteins in a given sample||13%|
|Monitor enzyme reactions, chemical modifications and protein digestion||9%|
|Determine protein structure, function, folding, and interactions||9%|
|Detect specific post-translational modifications throughout complex biological mixtures||6%|
|Detect disease biometrics||6%|