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Systems announced in Orlando could make a big difference in the lab.

Rachel Muenz

Rachel Muenz, managing editor for G2 Intelligence, can be reached at

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While most new products were introduced before this year’s 2012 Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy in Orlando, Florida, a few notable instruments made their debut at the event.

Waters’ ACQUITY UPC2™ system claimed the 2012 Pittcon Editors’ Choice Gold Award for the best new product and looks to be a big step forward in chromatography. The system brings “ultra-performance convergence chromatography” to the market— a new form of chromatography meant to push the limits of gas and reverse phase liquid chromatography separations while offering a replacement for normal phase chromatography

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“ACQUITY UPC2 took on every challenge we threw at it. At one point, we ran a very challenging 18-compound mixture that included amines, vitamin isomers, steroids, and antibacterial agents,” said Waters division UPC2 program director Harbaksh Sidhu. “The results were astounding. We saw repeatability and narrow, consistent peak widths, all in a gradient mode of operation that had extremely low baseline noise. The low system volume along with small-particle-size column is the result of a holistic design that unlocks the benefits of using compressed CO2 and has never been realized before. As someone who’s been working with this technology for more than 18 years, I had never witnessed this level of performance before.”

Waters’ ACQUITY UPC2 ultra-performance convergence chromatography system claimed the 2012 Pittcon Editors’ Choice Gold Award for best new product at the event.

The industry-first system aims to help laboratories dealing with difficult-to-analyze compounds such as chiral and hydrophobic compounds as well as polymers, thermally labile samples, and lipids

Waters also announced its new analytical standards and reagents business for LC and LC-MS, which offers more than 200 ready-to-use reagents and standards worldwide, along with its NuGenesis® 8 software. The software is a workflow and data management solution designed to better connect labs’ business information technology systems to their analytical laboratory data systems.

Bruker also won a couple of awards at the event, taking the 4th Annual Reader’s Choice Award for Gas Chromatography Products and the 2012 Pittcon Editors’ Choice Silver Award for its new GC-MS platform, SCION TQ.™ You can read more about both the SCION TQ and SCION SQ GC-MS systems in our September 2011 issue, in which we discuss the systems’ cost-saving lens-free technology, higher levels of sensitivity and precision, and small footprint in our Technology News product spotlight. Representatives also spoke at Bruker’s Pittcon 2012 press event about how the company is growing, mentioning its focus on nanoscience research in Mexico along with a planned NMR product line expansion and a strategic expansion of the company’s X-ray diffraction and scattering product portfolio.

Bruker's Scion TQ GC-MS won both the 4th Annual Reader’s Choice Award for Gas Chromatography Products and the 2012 Pittcon Editors Choice Silver Award.

The company unveiled its Compass CDS 3.0 software for GC labs that operate 24/7 and a new ion source, ionBooster, which was developed to meet the need for greater sensitivity in forensics, food testing, and environmental analysis

Another notable Pittcon 2012 product release was CEM Corporation’s Mars6 microwave sample preparation system with patent-pending OneTouch technology. The system is the result of three years of development and aims to eliminate the sample prep bottleneck in the lab with its simple OneTouch operation, advanced sensors, and training videos included in the instrument.

“It represents a quantum leap in terms of technology,” said CEM president and CEO Michael J. Collins about the Mars6, which is the sixth generation of such instruments from CEM.

The biggest leap forward is likely the instruments’ sensors and algorithms, which allow the Mars6 to gather enough data to automate sample prep tasks for chemists and make decisions on its own. Mr. Collins said this “chemist-in-a-box” part of the system is something that has never been done before.

The Mars6 microwave sample preparation system from CEM is like a “chemist in a box” in the way it automates the sample prep process.

“The knowledge built into this system allows it to understand what is being done and apply the right conditions,” he said.

That means the system is able to choose the proper vessel type, number of vessels, temperature, speed to temperature, time, and power for the sample prep the chemist is performing. All the chemist needs to do is pick the sample type with one touch.

The Mars6 includes more than 80 applications in its library, representing about 95 percent of what most people would want to do with the system, with key markets being environmental, food, pharmaceutical, consumer products, and bioscience

In other notable news, Torion is working with the University of Waterloo on the CUSTODION-NT needle tap syringe for the collection of high-volume samples. JEOL recently released its PCSEM Imaging Montage for large-area field stitching and also unveiled its SEM Navigator, which is for any JEOL microscope with a motorized stage. Alpha MOS announced the latest version of its Heracles E-nose for high-speed GC analysis and that it will also be working on a number of other new products in the future, including mini E-noses for the medical, airline, and auto industries.