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Things to Know When Purchasing a Mass Spectrometer

Find out our readers’ top ten features and more from our latest mass spectrometer survey results.

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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

  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 an 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 field of study for mass spectrometer use as reported by survey respondents:

Environmental 28%
Proteomics 13%
Food Safety and Testing Analysis 13%
Drug Discovery 11%
Clinical Testing 6%
Forensic Analysis 6%
Biomarker and Omics Research 4%
Geology 1%
Other 17%

Number of samples processed per month as reported by survey respondents:

1-100 46%
101-500 27%
501-1000 13%
1001-5000 13%
>5000 1%

Reasons for purchasing a new mass spectrometer as reported by survey respondents:

Upgrading older system
44%
Increase capacity/volume
28%
Require higher quality data
17%
Looking for more mass accuracy and resolution
14%
Setting up a new lab
13%
Integrating MS from traditional HPLC to UHPLC
9%
Require shorter run times/increased lab throughput
8%
Trying to reduce operating costs
8%
Looking for a complete system that includes data handling and storage
5%
Require a smaller footprint for the instrument in the lab
5%
We require more precise and accurate flow rates
4%
Looking to reduce the usage of solvent and waste
4%
Other
8%

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

High sensitivity 75%
Ease of maintenance 72%
High mass accuracy 61%
Warranties 58%
Data output, storage, and retrieval 57%
Availability of techniques 51%
Training 49%
Service contract 47%
Advances flow control 32%
Quickly exchangeable sources 25%

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

See survey results from previous years:

Categories: Surveys

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Published: October 13, 2016

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