2014 Mass Spectrometer Product Survey Results

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.

By Trevor Henderson

Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Mass Spectrometer

  1. 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?
  2. What differentiates the vendor’s MS from others offered, in terms of performance and how easy it would be to upgrade?
  3. How do you validate the specification claims presented by the vendor?
  4. Has the data processing software been designed for enhanced analytics, with lab workflow in mind and does it support critical compliance requirements?
  5. What are important price points to keep in mind when selecting a MS?
  6. 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?

Primary fields of study for mass spectrometry users:

Environmental 22%
Food safety and testing analysis 14%
Forensic analysis 10%
Drug discovery 9%
Proteomics 8%
Clinical testing 7%
Biomarker & omics research 6%
Geology 1%
Other 19%

Top 12 sample types analyzed by mass spectrometry as reported by survey respondents:

Blood, body fluids, and cultures 13%
Drinking water 8%
Food and food related products 7%
Waste water 7%
Animal tissues 6%
Pharmaceuticals 6%
Soils 6%
Air 5%
Gases 5%
Metals 5%
Plants 5%
Petroleum products 4%

Nearly 41% of respondents plan on purchasing a new mass spectrometer in the next year. The reasons for this purchase as reported by survey respondents were:

Upgrading older system 17%
Increase capacity / volume 16%
Require higher quality data 12%
Looking for more mass accuracy and resolution 10%
Setting up a new lab 8%
Integrating MS from traditional HPLC to UHPLC 6%
Looking to reduce the amount of sample prep time 6%
Require shorter run times / increased lab throughput 6%
Looking for a complete system that includes data handling, and storage 4%
Looking to reduce the usage of solvent and waste 4%
Require a smaller footprint for the instrument in the lab 1%
We require more precise and accurate flow rates 1%
Other 5%

Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a mass spectrometer:

Reliability 95%
Ease of maintenance 90%
High sensitivity 88%
Higher quality of data 85%
High mass accuracy 84%
High mass resolution 83%
Data output, storage and retrieval 81%
Warranties 77%
Availability of techniques 76%
Training 71%

For more information on mass spectrometers, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit www.labmanager.com/mass_spec 

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Categories: Surveys

Published In

Beyond The Bench Magazine Issue Cover
Beyond The Bench

Published: October 9, 2014

Cover Story

Beyond the Bench

Do you ever feel like you have hit a dead end in your career? Are you too busy attending to staff and their projects to even imagine a life beyond the lab bench?

Featured Articles

Trends in Sample Preparation for Chromatography

Derek Wachtel, scientist in the DMPK department at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, and Mingliang Bao, PhD, senior scientist at Labstat International ULC, talk to contributing editor Tanuja Koppal, PhD, regarding various issues they face with sample prep in their laboratories. They both stress that sample prep is very important and a necessary step in any analysis and with newer technologies making it easier and faster to accomplish, there should be no reason to ignore or overlook it.