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Owlstone Introduces UltraFAIMS for Improved Mass Spectrometry

Published: Monday, June 16, 2014
Last Updated: Thursday, June 12, 2014
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A low-cost accessory for mass spectrometers that provides an additional dimension of high-speed separation by ion mobility.

Owlstone Ltd announced the commercial launch of its UltraFAIMS series of products, developed to enhance mass spectrometry (MS) by quickly simplifying complex mass spectra, separating isobaric ions and reducing background. The new products were launched today at the 62nd ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics, June 15th-19th 2014, Baltimore, MD.

UltraFAIMS is a miniaturized chip-based FAIMS (Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry) platform technology developed by Owlstone. UltraFAIMS can be interfaced with mass spectrometers to provide an additional in-source separation stage for isobaric analytes, protein and peptide charge states, large and small proteins, isomers and conformers. Miniaturizing the chip has allowed Owlstone to generate much higher field strengths than have been available in FAIMS systems up to now. This means that a greater range of analytes can be separated, at faster speeds, without compromising the system sensitivity. 

The newly-launched UltraFAIMS ion filters incorporate the miniaturized FAIMS chip, and can be retrofitted onto mass spectrometers. The low-cost modules have been shown to improve mass accuracy and detection limits, increase the level of quantitation and dynamic range, reduce background and provide additional real-time separation within LC peaks. Once installed, UltraFAIMS can be turned on to provide extra separation, or turned off to allow transmission of all species simultaneously – there is no need to remove it from the system when not in use. Its small size (height, width and depth ≈ 20cm) and straightforward interface mean it can easily be added to an established laboratory setup. 

Professor Colin Creaser, Head of the Centre for Analytical Science at Loughborough University, whose group has been working with a pre-production instrument, said: “Owlstone’s chip-based FAIMS system is very straightforward to use and has demonstrated potential for the analysis of small molecules, peptides and proteins. We are particularly excited about its ability to enhance high-throughput mass spectrometry applications by separating target ion responses from isobaric and isomeric ions.”

The product range includes:

• UltraFAIMS-A1, compatible with Agilent 6130/6150 (SQ), 6460 (QQQ), 6230 (TOF) and 6530/6540 (QTOF)
• UltraFAIMS-T1, compatible with Thermo Exactive Series & LTQ-Orbitrap
• UltraFAIMS-DK1 (developer kit), which is available for instrument developers or vendors who wish to interface with a mass spectrometer or source for which an off-the-shelf interface isn’t currently available


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