Thermo Fisher Scientific Event Showcases New Breakthroughs in FAIMS
News May 08, 2009
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. has announced that researchers attending its first ever FAIMS (high-field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry) meeting in Germany showcased ground-breaking findings.
Attendees presented a number of breakthroughs enabled through their use of the FAIMS technology. For example, Michael Blackburn, working with colleagues at sanofi-aventis, described how FAIMS can be used to successfully filter out matrix interferences from mass spectrometry data, leaving a cleaner signal and making it easier to validate bioanalytical methods used in drug development.
FAIMS enables researchers to store and fragment only ions of interest before introducing them into a mass spectrometer, thereby increasing the selectivity of an assay before mass analysis is performed. By filtering out noise from sources such as drug dosing vehicles, drug metabolites and concomitantly administered medications (co-meds), the technique provides a better spectral quality than would be possible with liquid-chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) alone.
In studies performed using Thermo Fisher Scientific's Aria TLX-1 system powered by TurboFlow technology, Blackburn has shown that interfering peaks due to co-meds can be removed using FAIMS. The result is clean chromatographic peaks that are easy to integrate and that provide clear indication of where the signal compound elutes. Indeed, in one analysis Blackburn showed that the use of FAIMS combined with a flow split leads to a signal that is 4.5 times larger and a signal-to-noise ratio that is 2000 times better.
FAIMS technology attracts a diverse range of customers - big pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations, agriculture/bioscience labs, universities and hospitals - and all of these were represented at the German event. Even members of the world anti-doping-agency-accredited lab, "Deutsche SportHochSchule", were present to learn and share their experiences. The question and answer sessions were lively and interspersed with animated exchanges of information, anecdotes and experience.
As Dr. Simon Szwandt of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. and chairperson of the event, explained, "It's no accident that the first ever FAIMS meeting was held in Germany. That's where we're seeing the strongest response to this ground-breaking technology.” Delegates came from Germany, the UK, Denmark and Switzerland, and from companies such as A&M Labor, Roche and sanofi-aventis.
Dr. Axel Roemer, an expert in small molecule quantization based at the German contract research organization A&M Labor, presented the keynote lecture. In it he described his company's efforts to improve protein and peptide analysis, and presented the world's first validated method for peptide analysis using FAIMS-based LC-MS (LC-FAIMS-MS). Using peptides in rat serum, Roemer and colleagues have shown that LC-FAIMS-MS chromatograms offer greatly reduced chemical backgrounds compared to those produced without FAIMS. By successfully filtering out complex matrix interferences, which prevent method validation in a traditional LC-MS assay, Roemer reports lower limits of detection as small as 10 ng/mL (100 times smaller than the 1 ug/mL offered by other companies). A&M Labor expects to have even better results at next year's meeting.