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 an 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?
Primary field of study for mass spectrometer use as reported by survey respondents:
|Food Safety and Testing Analysis||13%|
|Biomarker and Omics Research||4%|
Number of samples processed per month as reported by survey respondents:
Reasons for purchasing a new mass spectrometer as reported by survey respondents:
|Upgrading older system||
|Require higher quality data||
|Looking for more mass accuracy and resolution||
|Setting up a new lab||
|Integrating MS from traditional HPLC to UHPLC||
|Require shorter run times/increased lab throughput||
|Trying to reduce operating costs||
|Looking for a complete system that includes data handling and storage||
|Require a smaller footprint for the instrument in the lab||
|We require more precise and accurate flow rates||
|Looking to reduce the usage of solvent and waste||
Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a mass spectrometer
|Ease of maintenance||72%|
|High mass accuracy||61%|
|Data output, storage, and retrieval||57%|
|Availability of techniques||51%|
|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: