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Waters Marks Ten Years of ACQUITY UPLC at Pittcon

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Waters® Corporation today celebrated the ten-year anniversary of the ACQUITY® UltraPerformance LC® (UPLC®) System, a technology that created a new industry standard for chromatographic performance.   Looking forward, Waters today also introduced the new ionKey/MS™ System, a new approach for getting exceptional sensitivity, robustness and ease-of-use out of mass spectrometry and featured the ACQUITY QDa™, the first mass detector to bring high-quality, mass spectral data to chromatographic separations, in its Pittcon debut.

“In 2004, we changed the game. High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) wasn’t keeping pace with business demands to analyze more samples, faster and with better results. The introduction of ACQUITY UPLC in 2004 transformed laboratory science and the analytical science industry,” said Art Caputo, President of the Waters Division.

Over the last ten years, ACQUITY UPLC has had a profound effect on laboratories worldwide, both scientifically as well as from a business standpoint.  The novel ability of the ACQUITY UPLC to perform separations on 1.7 micron particle technology coupled with the ability to operate at 15,000 psi, opened new possibilities for analytical testing. The narrow, more concentrated peaks of ACQUITY UPLC improved ionization efficiency. Enhanced resolution and robustness led to high-quality, reproducible analysis in significantly less time, reducing run times by up to a factor of 10 compared to HPLC technology.  Through this increased productivity, it has been shown time and again that one ACQUITY UPLC system typically displaces multiple HPLC instruments.

ACQUITY UPLC has also proven to be a sustainable solution for laboratories; saving energy, using less solvent and producing less waste.  Again, in comparison to HPLC technology, laboratories utilizing ACQUITY UPLC save approximately 222 liters of solvent per year. Over a ten-year period that equates to 5.5 million liters of solvent, which represents a cost savings of over a HALF BILLION USD to Waters’ customers.
ionKey/MS System Redefines MS Performance

The new ionKey/MS™ System, a new approach for getting exceptional sensitivity, robustness and ease-of-use out of mass spectrometry for applications as far-ranging as bioanalyses and pharmacokinetic studies to food safety and environmental analyses. Intended for use with Waters ACQUITY UPLC M-Class System and Xevo® TQ-S Mass Spectrometer, the Waters ionKey/MS System physically integrates a UPLC separation into the mass spectrometer producing a significant improvement in sensitivity, enabling scientists to achieve unparalleled separation and detection of compounds. Waters introduced the ionKey/MS System at the Pittcon Conference and Exposition March 2 – 6. Waters is making the ionKey/MS System immediately available to scientists on a worldwide basis.

“ionKey/MS will change how the world thinks about LC/MS. With ionKey/MS we are enabling any scientist to operate the most sensitive LC/MS analysis on the market, eliminating many variables and simplifying the user experience,” said Ian King, Ph.D., Vice President, Separations Technology, Waters Division. “This can have a big impact by reducing training requirements and standardizing operations.  With the ionKey/MS System we have made it possible for scientists to reduce solvent and sample sizes. This results in more environmentally, ethically and economically –sound operation by lowering costs and solvent waste and reducing the amount of sample needed for analysis.”

In addition to the enhanced sensitivity, scientists praise the plug and play nature of ionKey/MS. Scientists no longer have to contend with delicate fittings and columns and concern themselves with extra column dispersion and the inevitable variability and band broadening that comes with it. The ionKey/MS System’s iKey Microfluidic Separation Device is designed so that all it takes is a few seconds for a scientist to insert it into the source of the mass spectrometer and with the turn of a key, make the fluidic and electric connections and lock it into place.

One scientist who has seen what the ionKey/MS System can do is Rand Jenkins, Ph.D. and Scientific Director of PPD Laboratories (www.ppd.com), a global contract research organization specializing in drug discovery, development, life cycle management and laboratory services. "I strongly believe that systems combining ease of use and optimum microflow performance, exemplified by Waters ionKey/MS, will be the next wave in both routine and advanced LC/MS analysis."

The ionKey/MS System’s iKey Microfluidic Separation Device, which is about the size of a smart phone, contains the fluidic connections, electronics, ESI interface, column heater, eCord™ Intelligent Chip Technology and the 1.7 micron UPLC grade particles packed inside a 150 micron I.D. channel to perform hundreds upon hundreds of UPLC separations reproducibly and reliably without a degradation in performance. Besides storing the iKey device’s dimensions, chemistry type, serial no., manufacturing and QC history, the unique eCord chip captures and records information such as operator name, instrument name, sample set name, date of first and last injection, total number of injections, observed back pressures and operating temperatures – usage data that is tied to the individual iKey device and is accessed with Waters Empower® Chromatography Data Software and MassLynx®  Mass Spectrometry Software.

At this scale of chromatography, the savings in solvent approaches 90% and the ease-of-use that ionKey/MS System brings to the laboratory is a true game-changer.

ACQUITY QDa Detector Push-Button Mass Detection

The ACQUITY QDa Detector is the realization of a vision that started 20 years ago at Waters blending chromatography and mass spectrometry technologies together in a way that gives every analytical scientist access to mass spectral data regardless of their previous experience with mass spectrometry. The ACQUITY QDa Detector adds a whole new dimension to separation science and it is the most progressive leap forward in chromatography detection since the first photodiode detectors were introduced decades ago.
The ACQUITY QDa Detector is a small, easy-to-use and affordable mass detector that brings high-quality mass spectral information to chromatographic separations. Mass spectral information greatly enhances chemical compound identification, something that is very important to laboratories doing method development, sample profiling, chemical synthesis and purification. The ACQUITY QDa Detector gives analytical chemists the freedom to get mass spectral information on their own, for all their samples - just like photodiode array data – at the push of a button.  
The ACQUITY QDa Detector complements optical detection, such as the PDA detector, by confirming the identity of compounds with mass spectral information. Additionally, the ACQUITY QDa Detector extends the limits of sample detection for a chromatographic separation by quantifying compounds having no UV response or that are present at levels not detectable and quantifiable by optical detection.  By simplifying laboratory workflows, the detector enhances the value of every analysis and increases productivity by eliminating the need to run additional assays or turn to time-consuming alternative techniques in order to establish with certainty the levels and identity of specific sample compounds.

ACQUITY UPC2 Now Available with New Column Oven

Waters also today added a new column oven to its category first ACQUITY UPC2® System for faster method development and column screening capabilities. The column oven has a capacity of eight columns ranging in length from 50 mm to 250 mm, with internal diameters ranging from 2.1 mm to 8.0 mm. The ability to screen column chemistries, modifier strength, back-pressure settings, and flow rate leads to faster method development and allows for time-efficient scale-up to preparative chromatography.

The temperature controlled column compartment is heated by reticulating air/forced convection having a maximum settable temperature of 90 degrees Celsius.  The column oven supports a maximum of eight sets of passive pre-heaters, guard columns and analytical columns.  And the oven provides for eight eCord positions ensuring that valuable injection data, column type, data, are captured.