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Re-defining Productivity for Small Molecule, High-resolution Mass Spectrometry Analysis

Team TFS
Team TFS
smart-watchThe moment I committed to a more active lifestyle than my meager 3,000 steps a day, I was instantly in the market for an activity tracker. Primarily, I cared about data accuracy because otherwise what was the point around measuring heart rate measurements, calories burned, etc.? I also did not want a tracker that needed to be constantly charged, did not have a mobile app or was hard to set up in general. My search took more time but expanding my purchasing criteria was well worth my health.

One of the high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) instruments Thermo Fisher Scientific recently introduced is the Thermo Scientific Orbitrap Exploris 120 Mass Spectrometer. For laboratories in the market for a new HRMS instrument to do small molecule analysis, below I present three very similar pain points the instrument solves for that I also needed my fitness tracker to address.

If your laboratory has the need to reduce….

…the degree of uncertainty in HRMS MS results.

I need accurate measurements from my tracker so the device does not hinder my decision-making ability due to false positive or negative readings. High-resolution mass spectrometers are designed to resolve analytes of interest from interferences. With Orbitrap high-resolution accurate-mass (HRAM) technology, the Orbitrap Exploris 120 mass spectrometer goes further by discriminating ions of interest from interfering ions differing by only very small mass increments. This capability is made possible with high mass resolution up to 120,000 (FWHM) at m/z 200 at mass-to-charge ratios as low as m/z 40. If you are looking to perform quantitation on your HRMS MS instrument, Orbitrap HRAM MS technology enables exact measurements with high mass accuracy, reliably meeting low limits of detection. The improved scan rate up to 22 Hz triggers more precursor ions for MS/MS analyses as well, maximizing compound coverage. Regardless of if you are performing unknown analysis, screening, or quantitation, you substantially reduce the likelihood of false positives and negatives when analyzing complex sample matrices.

…time spent on method set up and polarity switching.

I’m not exactly tech-savvy. Anytime a device requires extensive set-up time, you can guarantee I won’t be loyal to that brand for long. Similarly, for laboratories who may not have the luxury of spending time on extensive new user training, method set up can create bottlenecks on the path to generating HRMS MS results. The Orbitrap Exploris 120 MS Method Editor features a drag-and-drop, user-friendly interface, which simplifies navigation. Ready-to-use method templates are available for various sample types as well.

For those laboratories who need to perform polarity switching, they can process samples faster using positive and negative mode switching in approximately 1.4 Hz cycles. In contrast to other high-resolution instruments, the mass resolution and mass stability of the Orbitrap Exploris 120 instrument do not need to recover after polarity switching, saving valuable analytical time. I’d liken this capability to my fitness tracker not being impacted in walking/sitting mode vs. exercise mode – my health metrics still appear on my screen in real-time!

…downtime when instrument is not actively running samples.

With the Orbitrap Exploris 120 MS instrument, a single calibration procedure can be performed for the entire mass range of m/z 40–3,000, in both positive and negative modes. Additionally, lengthy scheduled maintenance procedures are reduced because the Orbitrap Exploris 120 instrument design allows easy access to mass analyzer components. (This reminds me of my new fitness tracker that only needs to be charged every 4-5 days).

Lastly, the available data analysis tools are quite comprehensive depending on the reporting requirements of your laboratory. Thermo Scientific small-molecule data analysis solutions essentially streamline unknown identification and either high throughput screening quantitation or regulatory compliant, enterprise-ready quantitation in a connected software ecosystem.

Visit these pages for more data and information on the benefits of the Orbitrap Exploris 120 MS instrument and data analysis solutions while I ensure I hit my 10K steps for the day!