Mass spectrometry Detectors

Mass spectrometric analysis of biological samples has increasingly entailed direct analysis of complex protein mixtures, often with the objective of detailed characterization of the various components. This trend toward ever greater sample complexity has been enabled and in turn driven by the rapid development of powerful mass spectrometric tools. A general characteristic of recent mass spectrometers is that most are composed of a sequence of multiple mass analyzers with different strengths and properties, resulting in tandem instruments that possess capabilities unattainable by the individual components .can combine high mass accuracy with high-speed measurement, greatly facilitating the analysis of complex mixtures. This option is advantageous when speed and accuracy are crucial for the success of analysis, as it is, for example, when the mass spectrometer is coupled on-line to an HPLC system .Physical coupling of multiple mass spectrometers in tandem mass spectrometry has some disadvantages. Optimal operation conditions for different mass spectrometers and modes of operation of a tandem instrument may differ significantly, producing the need to compromise in the performance of one mass spectrometer at the expense of another  Decoupling the parts of a hybrid instrument is one solution to this problem. The collected data can be analyzed quickly by a computer, which generates a set of instructions based on the results of analysis of the data obtained in the previous instrument and passes them to the next one. Theoretical speed of the analysis in such a modular tool is only limited by the speed of the sample analysis in the different instruments and the speed of transfer of the remaining part of the sample from one mass spectrometer to another. This concept has been used to combine a high resolution, high mass accuracy MALDI-QTOF instrument with a high-speed, high-sensitivity MALDI-IT   mass spectrometer. This combination has proven to be extremely useful for gaining insight into many challenging biological problems   Initial studies of the utility of this instrument combination utilized in-house modified instruments. However, the recent commercial introduction of similar mass spectrometers has opened the possibility to reproduce this approach in any laboratory.

A sector field mass analyzer uses an electric and/or magnetic field to affect the path and/or velocity of the charged particles in some way. As shown above, sector instruments bend the trajectories of the ions as they pass through the mass analyzer, according to their mass-to-charge ratios, deflecting the more charged and faster-moving, lighter ions more. The analyzer can be used to select a narrow range of m/z or to scan through a range of m/z to catalog the ions present. The time-of-flight (TOF) analyzer uses an electric field to accelerate the ions through the same potential, and then measures the time they take to reach the detector. If the particles all have the same charge, the kinetic energies will be identical, and their velocities will depend only on their masses. Lighter ions will reach the detector first. Quadrupole mass analyzers use oscillating electrical fields to selectively stabilize or destabilize the paths of ions passing through a radio frequency (RF) quadrupole field created between 4 parallel rods. Only the ions in a certain range of mass/charge ratio are passed through the system at any time, but changes to the potentials on the rods allow a wide range of m/z values to be swept rapidly, either continuously or in a succession of discrete hops. A quadrupole mass analyzer acts as a mass-selective filter and is closely related to the quadrupole ion trap, particularly the linear quadrupole ion trap except that it is designed to pass the un trapped ions rather than collect the trapped ones, and is for that reason referred to as a transmission quadrupole

  • Mass Spectrometry as a Diagnostic and a Cancer Biomarker Discovery Tool
  • Potential of metabolomics as a functional genomics tool
  • Mass spectrometry and the age of the proteome
  • Mass spectrometry in proteomics

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