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Waters’ Highly Flexible SYNAPT XS Offers Freedom of Analytical Choice
Industry Insight

Waters’ Highly Flexible SYNAPT XS Offers Freedom of Analytical Choice

Waters’ Highly Flexible SYNAPT XS Offers Freedom of Analytical Choice
Industry Insight

Waters’ Highly Flexible SYNAPT XS Offers Freedom of Analytical Choice

The field of scientific discovery can be significantly halted by slow advancements in technology and the rising costs associated with research. SYNAPT™ XS is one of two new additions to Waters Corporation's mass spectrometry (MS) portfolio. A highly flexible and high-resolution mass spectrometer, the SYNAPT™ XS technology has been developed with the analytical needs of R&D labs in mind. An array of inlets and acquisition modes are at the disposition of researchers which provide a unique toolkit for analyzing complex mixtures. Consequently, there is freedom of analytical choice which in turn supports creativity for a great variety of applications. 

Here, we speak with Joanne Ballantyne, Principal Product Marketing Manager at Waters Corporation, to learn more about the development of SYNAPTTM XS and the features to which it lends its versatility.  

Ash Board: The SYNAPTTM XS is aimed at R&D labs which require a great variety of analytical strategies. How does the system achieve the flexibility to match this requirement?

Joanne Ballantyne (JB): By providing more inlets and acquisition modes, the SYNAPT XS delivers greater freedom of analytical choice to support scientific creativity and technical success for any application. Our versatility includes;

  • MALDI and DESI for advanced MS imaging accompanied by High Definition Imaging (HDI™) Software simplifies and streamlines the mass spectral imaging workflow and delivers multi-layered, information-rich data.

  • Hydrogen/deuterium exchange which enables automated higher order structure determination thorough confident identification and best-in-class reproducibility.

  • Electron transfer dissociation and collision induced dissociation fragmentation Complementary fragmentation techniques with high resolution and accurate mass measurements providing enhanced MS/MS possibilities.

  • A large variety of inlet options to serve the broadest range of applications with the most extensive range of chromatographic inlets for ultimate flexibility.

  • SONAR™/MSE/HDMSE With DIA modes, fragment ion information is attainable for every detectable component for unambiguous confirmation of compound identity.

  • Fast DDA/HD-DDA to generate fragmentation data with low limits of detection and elevated number of detectable compounds in mixtures with enhanced speed and sensitivity.


AB: With the increased flexibility of the SYNAPTTM XS (compared to previous systems), are there any drawbacks in terms of performance?


JB: 
No, there are no drawbacks in terms of system performance. The SYNAPT XS builds upon the inherent power synonymous with the SYNAPT family. Its performance is enhanced with new technology building blocks that provide increased sensitivity for challenging compounds while further improving the levels of analytical robustness at far superior mass resolution than previous models. And its novel acquisition mode increases analytical flexibility providing a truly unique investigative toolbox for the interrogation of complex mixtures.

AB: The StepWaveTM XS provides enhanced sensitivity and improved robustness. How does this achieve both?

JB: These new levels of performance have been achieved through a number of technological advances. The StepWave XS ion guide removes neutral species and transmits ions in a more focused beam to the detector by incorporating segmented quadrupole transfer optics in the second stage. The result is an increase in signal/noise over its StepWave predecessor, and it delivers excellent robustness over thousands of injections. The refined design allows the system to quantify challenging compounds at trace levels - even if they are labile or show poor transmission efficiency.

AB: The SYNAPTTM XS offers both SONAR and IMS based DIA modes of operation. Can you expand on what the SONAR technology is and how it provides “clean and clear” fragmentation data?

JB: SONAR provides increased selectivity compared to a conventional DIA experiment while collecting data at UPLC compatible speeds. By sliding a resolving quadrupole window over a specified mass range during an MS scan, the quadrupole separates co-eluting precursor masses by scanning the mass range and transiting them in sequence. Fragment ions from different precursors can then be recorded separately and assigned with confidence. SONAR provides data for quantitation and identification in a single injection. If a lab needs to qualitatively identify metabolites, lipids and proteins in complex samples and extract high resolution quantitative information from a single injection, SONAR delivers increased confidence by getting the right answer first time and reduces the time to results.


The Synapt XS StepWave XS ion guide removes neutral species and transmits ions in a more focused beam to the detector by incorporating segmented quadrupole transfer optics in the second stage. The result is an increase in signal/noise over its StepWave predecessor, and it delivers excellent robustness over thousands of injections. The refined design allows the system to quantify challenging compounds at trace levels - even if they are labile or show poor transmission efficiency. Credit: Waters Corporation. 

AB: When used together, how do SONAR and IMS complement one another?


JB: With both SONAR and ion mobility MS- based data independent acquisition (DIA) modes of operation on the SYNAPT XS, the discovery analyst is in a unique position to interrogate complex mixtures by complementary strategies. Both types of acquisition increase analytical peak capacity, providing ‘clean and clear’ fragmentation data, but based on different molecular properties. Ion mobility MS separates molecules according to their size, shape, and charge during ion mobility experiments as a function of their collisional cross section (CCS) whilst SONAR simplifies complex mixtures by sliding a resolving quadrupole window over a specified mass range during an MS scan.

AB: What additional information can collisional cross section (CCS) data provide? What are the benefits of pairing ion mobility and CCS measurements?

JB: The measured CCS of an ion helps confirm its identity or investigate its structure. Ions are manipulated (trapped, accumulated, released, separated, and fragmented) in a simple, precise, and efficient manner. The inclusion of ion mobility MS increases the confidence with which a scientist can profile complex mixtures and complex molecules, and dramatically enhances sample definition.

Joanne Ballantyne was speaking with Ash Board, Director of Editorial, Technology Networks. 

Meet The Author
Ash Board PhD
Ash Board PhD
Editorial Director
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