Waters debuts mass spectrometer with MRT technology

By Melissa Busch, The Science Advisory Board contributing writer

June 9, 2021 -- Waters has introduced its next-generation Select Series multireflecting time-of-flight (MRT) mass spectrometer. The new system is designed to provide high-quality resolution at fast speeds to improve the clarity of molecular structures and their location in tissues for applications in spatial omics.

Select Series MRT uses enhanced desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) and new matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) imaging sources. These tools allow scientists to explore molecular structure and function through the precise identification and location of individual molecules in samples.

The platform can attain 200,000 full width half maximum (FWHM) resolution and part-per-billion mass accuracy independent of scan speed. Moreover, the system's new MRT technology features an extended flight path of almost 50 m to give scientists a much clearer picture of structural information, including fine isotope structure, according to the firm.

The Waters Select Series MRT allows scientists to explore molecular structure and function by precisely identifying and mapping the location of molecules on a test sample
The Waters Select Series MRT allows scientists to explore molecular structure and function by precisely identifying and mapping the location of molecules on a test sample's surface with speed, resolution, and mass accuracy. Image courtesy of Waters.

Waters said that one of the first applications of the new system is in mass spectrometry imaging using DESI and MALDI ionization. DESI can be performed under ambient environmental conditions and requires no prior sample preparation, providing imaging information about the biochemical distribution of small-molecule drugs, lipids, and metabolites with a tissue slice or on the surface of other samples with a single measurement.

For MALDI use, Select Series MRT includes a newly designed MALDI source. Waters pointed out that MALDI can complement imaging of biological molecules like peptides and can visualize tissue sections at spatial resolutions of less than 10 µ.

Using both DESI and MALDI together can give researchers the ability to generate fine spatial information and morphological detail for biological samples, as well as visualize brain vasculature.

Select Series MRT will begin shipping in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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