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ASMS Introduces… An Overview of What’s New for 2019

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The 67th American Society for Mass Spectrometry (ASMS) Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics is currently in full swing in the sweltering heat of Atlanta, Georgia. ASMS was formed in 1969 as a non-profit organization to promote and disseminate knowledge of mass spectrometry and allied topics. The annual conference is the jewel in ASMS’s crown, bringing together over 6,500 scientists from across the globe to share expertise and forge working collaborations. Included in the program are over 3,000 papers presented as talks and posters. Companies working in the mass spectrometry field also take this opportunity to share their latest developments and innovations. Here we will take a look at some of the release highlights for 2019.

Shimadzu – MALDImini-1 Digital Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer

Shimadzu announced the release of the MALDImini-1, the first commercially available compact Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization (MALDI) digital ion trap mass spectrometer. Key benefits of this instrument include:

- Small footprint - Weighing in at only 25 kg, the MALDImini-1 only takes up the space of a sheet of A3 paper, ideal with space at a premium for many labs. Thanks to associated power requirement reductions, the unit can also be run on a conventional main AC power supply.

- Speedy – With simplified workflows and on-instrument analysis capabilities, users can conduct and repeat even in-depth structural analyses in a short time span without compromising on sensitivity.

- Sub-microliter sample volumes – Limited available sample quantities can be problematic for analysts so reducing requirements can ease this challenging pain point.

This solution is suited to small biomolecules, such as peptides and glycan, right up to high molecular weight species of 70,000 Da thanks to the unique features of the rectangular RF waveform used by the system’s digital ion trap.

Bruker – SpatialOMx

Bruker debuted the SpatialOMx, a combination of the novel timsTOF fleXTM mass spectrometer, which includes a software-switchable MALDI source adapted to the ESI timsTOF ProTM platform. The combination of ESI and MALDI capabilities facilitates spatially resolved omics on a single instrument.

This exciting innovation goes hand-in-hand with subsequent 4D proteomics or 4D lipidomics/metabolomics studies, enabling users to selectively target cell-type sub-populations using the information gathered.

Automated annotations of lipids and metabolites in tissue molecular images are possible thanks to imaging software innovations that automatically match ions measured on tissue to molecular information in metabolomics and lipidomics workflows, highlighting biologically relevant pathway information.

In areas such as cancer research could benefit greatly, where low level biomarker detection is of great importance but not always observable by traditional methods.


SCIEX were excited to share a breakthrough in acoustic ejection mass spectrometry (AEMS) technology, which was conceived as part of the Open Innovation project in collaboration with The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The technology will be unveiled as the Echo MS when it comes to market.

The Echo MS could revolutionize high-throughput quantification, facilitating:

- Up to 50 x faster sample analysis - up to 3 samples per second

- Contactless sampling with no LC, eliminating carry over and errors

- High reproducibility regardless of the matrix

These capabilities have the potential to redefine workflows in Pharma ADME, synthetic biology, food testing and clinical research.

Agilent - InfinityLab Liquid Chromatography/Mass Selective Detector

Agilent were pleased to introduce the InfinityLab Liquid Chromatography/Mass Selective Detector (LC/MSD) iQ System, aimed to provide the greater detail desired by chromatographers and chemists whilst being intuitive to use.

The instrument incorporates an “health-check system”, which monitors instrument readiness and provides maintenance feedback, helping to keep labs running smoothly and boosting productivity.

The unit’s modular nature means it stacks neatly with existing hardware, saving space, and can be maintained in situ

Compatibility with Agilent's OpenLab CDS Software facilitates efficient and reliable data collection, analysis, and reporting without the complexity of MS data acquisition thanks to new features such as the auto acquire mode.

Thermo Fisher Scientific – Orbitrap Exploris 480 Mass Spectrometer

The Orbitrap Exploris 480 Mass Spectrometer was put on show by Thermo Fisher Scientific. Highlights include:

- A compact benchtop format for the space-conscious

- Enhanced quantitative performance across label-free and tandem mass tag (TMT) experiments

- Rapid, multiplexed analysis capabilities of proteins within complex biological matrices

- A wide mass range (40 to 8,000 m/z) enables usability for compounds from small molecules, to peptides and intact proteins and complexes

Designed for advanced protein analysis, quantitative proteomics and small molecule applications in a high-throughput environment, this instrument could be a great addition to the labs of biopharmaceutical and translational research scientists.


Continuing the structural elucidation theme, Waters presented their new offering in the ion mobility mass spectrometry (IMS) arena – the SELECT SERIES Cyclic IMS. The traditional linear ion mobility region is replaced with a novel, compact cyclic ion guide. This instrument features:

- Improved resolving power – with every pass of the ions around the ion guide, greater ion mobility resolution is achieved.

- Increased flexibility – this instrument has the unique ability to perform ion mobility/ion mobility and IMSn experiments.

The power of the Cyclic IMS has been highlighted in a recent peer reviewed article published in the journal Analytical Chemistry.