Screening and characterization

Screening and characterization of analytes based on mass spectrometry is routinely used in areas like metabolite identification, food and environmental analysis of contaminants, and extractables and leachables from the pharmaceutical or food industries. IMS can be employed for both targeted and untargeted screening methods for robust and reliable identification of analytes, providing clarity and confidence to datasets. 

IMS separates ions in the gas phase based on their different mobility (drift time) in the presence of an electric field. Under these conditions, the mobility of an ion depends on its size, shape and charge. IMS is used for separation of co-eluting isomers, separating analytes from interfering background ions in complex matrices, increasing peak capacity and to facilitate structural elucidation. Whilst drift times are easily acquired using ion mobility-mass spectrometry, they are not practical to use in screening applications as they are instrument and condition specific.  

However, the collision cross section (CCS), a physicochemical property of an ion, can be derived from the measured drift times to provide an orthogonal molecular descriptor in addition to those of retention time and m/z.  Moreover, CCS has proven to be a robust parameter across multiple platform conditions and matrices making it an ideal screening parameter.  Using CCS as an additional identification point can provide increased confidence in compound identification by improving the method selectivity and decreasing the rate of false positive and false negative identifications.

In addition to more conventional targeted screening methods such as pesticide identification, CCS values can be used, to track metabolites through the drug development process. Using screening workflows allows the user to acquire, process and report results from a single integrated platform, reducing the time required for data review. 

Learn more:

Screening Workflow for Extractables Testing Using the UNIFI Scientific Information System

Extractables and Leachables Overview

Use of ion mobility mass spectrometry to enhance cumulative analytical specificity and separation to profile 6‐C/8‐C-glycosylflavone critical isomer pairs and known–unknowns in medicinal plants

Integrating Ion Mobility into Routine Drug Metabolite Identification Studies Using the Vion IMS QTof Mass Spectrometer

Environmental testing

Food testing

A Novel Strategy to Screen and Profile Steviol Glycosides of Natural Sweeteners in Food Using ionKey/MS Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry

Waters metabolite identification content

Separation of isomeric disaccharides by traveling wave ion mobility mass spectrometry using CO2 as drift gas

Exploring the Complexity of Steviol Glycosides Analysis Using Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry

Investigations into the performance of travelling wave enabled conventional and cyclic ion mobility systems to characterise protomers of fluoroquinolone antibiotic residues

Towards the use of ion mobility mass spectrometry derived collision cross section as a screening approach for unambiguous identification of targeted pesticides in food

The benefits of gas-phase collision cross-section (CCS) measurements in high-resolution, accurate-mass UPLC/MS analyses

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