Posted: October 9, 2008

Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies Introduces Next-Generation Mass Spectrometry Systems

(Nanowerk News) Applied Biosystems Inc. and its joint-venture partner, MDS Analytical Technologies, a business unit of MDS Inc., today announced the introduction of two of the most advanced mass spectrometry systems ever built – the AB SCIEX Triple Quad™ 5500 and the AB SCIEX QTRAP® 5500 Systems – both of which will provide researchers with complete workflow solutions that are unmatched in terms of functionality, speed and performance.
These next-generation systems are the result of a new mass spectrometry platform being introduced today by Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies. Designed with input from hundreds of customers, this new platform includes state-of-the-art electronics, new ion optics architecture, a number of newly designed components and a 44% smaller footprint than previous systems. These advancements were made to: increase sensitivity and speed in qualitative analysis; drive the highest quantitative accuracy to the lowest levels of detection for mass spectrometry systems; and, significantly accelerate the speed of analysis when compared to other instruments.
To advance a wide variety of life science applications, scientists have been calling for mass spectrometry-based systems to deliver higher performance and greater reproducibility. They are also seeking more accuracy and better integration of quantitative and qualitative capabilities in order to increase the confidence in the results of their experiments.
“Mass spectrometry continues to evolve with more scientists using this technique for a growing number of new applications,” said Laura Lauman, president for Applied Biosystems’ proteomics and small molecule division. “These innovative systems incorporate intuitive software and comprehensive support to take performance to a new level. Applied Biosystems and MDS Analytical Technologies remain keenly focused on providing innovative solutions. These next-generation systems, which we believe are the most advanced mass spectrometers ever built, further demonstrate our continued commitment to our customers around the world.”
The AB SCIEX Triple Quad 5500 System and the AB SCIEX QTRAP 5500 System are powerful and versatile next-generation mass spectrometers that enable complete workflow solutions, comprised of systems, software and applications. These next-generation systems were designed to expand the utility and effectiveness of mass spectrometry.
“We continue to innovate, setting new standards of performance for mass spectrometry systems,” said Andy Boorn, president of MDS Analytical Technologies. “The delivery of these next-generation systems is part of our continued focus on pushing the boundaries of innovation, and it is an example of the capabilities of our newly reorganized research and development teams. Applied Biosystems and MDS Analytical Technologies remain committed to the success of our mass spectrometry customers.”
About the AB SCIEX Triple Quad™ 5500 System
The AB SCIEX Triple Quad 5500 System introduces the next-generation in triple quadrupole mass spectrometry. This new triple quadrupole system surpasses the performance specifications of the industry-leading API 5000™ System, delivering the most accurate quantitative results at the industry’s fastest scan speeds to identify the greatest number of target analytes at the lowest concentrations in complex samples. This new level of speed and sensitivity enables a greater amount of data to be acquired from an experiment, which leads to greater quantitative accuracy and lower limits of detection, compared to competitive triple quadrupole instruments. This is critical in high-throughput applications that require samples to be screened for extremely large numbers of target analytes, such as contaminant analyses in food or drinking water.
This system also delivers a new standard of performance for triple quadrupoles by combining industry-leading sensitivity and the new pulse-counting detector known as AcQuRate™, which effectively detects ions to increase quantitative accuracy and precision. This enables a 5x increase in sensitivity, compared to competitive triple quadrupole instruments.
The combination of best-in-class sensitivity and unsurpassed speed allows scientists to analyze a comprehensive range of compounds in a shorter period of time than it currently takes with existing triple quadrupole systems. These capabilities are enabled by new components called eQ™ Electronics and the Qurved LINAC® Collision Cell, which are both designed to generate shorter pause and dwell times, which enable high duty cycles for superior performance. The end result is faster analysis than what was previously possible, enabling scientists to measure a greater number of compounds in a single pass.
About the AB SCIEX QTRAP® 5500 System
The AB SCIEX QTRAP 5500 System is a unique, next-generation mass spectrometer that integrates triple quadrupole capabilities with a new innovation in ion trap technology called Linear Accelerator™ Trap for quantitative and qualitative analysis. This system integrates all of the features of the AB SCIEX Triple Quad 5500 System, combining them with the new Linear Accelerator Trap technology. This combination results in the only system on the market that seamlessly integrates industry-leading sensitivity and high performance for both quantitative and qualitative analysis.
The AB SCIEX QTRAP 5500 System uniquely enables scientists to both identify and confirm results in a single analysis, without sacrificing performance. In qualitative mode, the system can provide up to 100 times more sensitivity, depending on the type of experiment. It also delivers ultra-fast scanning and high capacity, provided by the new eQ Electronics as well as the new Linear Accelerator Trap, which is designed to set a new standard in the linear ion trap-based qualitative mode. This combination of sensitivity, scanning speed and capacity enables a greater number of compounds, proteins and contaminants to be analyzed than competitive systems that are intended to do similar analyses.
The QTRAP 5500 System also uniquely supports multiple experiments on the same instrument. This is made possible by a proprietary innovation called TripleTrap™ Scanning that allows scientists to move from sensitive, specific, triple quadrupole scan modes to highly sensitive full-scan ion trap mode in less than one millisecond. This facilitates workflow-driven data acquisition that cannot be done on any other mass spectrometry system, as this work typically requires systems for each of these functions.
Enabling a Variety of Workflows
The advancements in these next-generation mass spectrometers are expected to enable a variety of workflows, designed to advance specific objectives in several important areas of scientific interest. These applications include: driving greater efficiency in drug discovery; advancing research for better understanding of diseases; and, helping to support efforts to improve human health and safety. For example:
  • Drug metabolite identification: The drug discovery process can be significantly improved with the ability to find and confirm the greatest number of metabolites at a faster rate than previously possible. This supports more effective decision making about the specific compounds that should be advanced in the drug discovery and development process by minimizing the time and money invested in drug candidates which could produce potentially toxic metabolites.
  • Protein biomarker verification and validation: The biological understanding of diseases can be significantly improved through the enhanced ability to verify and validate biomarkers. The platform’s ability to quantify an increasing number of proteins and peptides enables greater reproducibility and precision for these applications than other available mass spectrometry systems.
  • Food testing and water analysis: Detection of contaminants in food, drinking water and the environment is expected to be more efficient through the ability to identify and confirm the greatest number of chemicals – more than 1,000 in a single test – of any available mass spectrometry system. This provides more accurate information about the presence of pesticides, toxins, residues and other chemicals and supports faster decision making to address threats of tainted food entering the global food supply, or contaminated drinking water reaching consumers.
  • Innovation and Leadership in Mass Spectrometry
    The new AB SCIEX 5500 systems enable powerful solutions when combined with other industry-leading technologies from Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies, such as: LightSight® Software for metabolite identification; Cliquid® Software for food, environmental, forensic and clinical research markets; MRMPilot™ and MultiQuant™ software for targeted quantitative proteomics, as well as mTRAQ™ Reagents.
    The Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies joint venture has a more than 20-year history of innovation and is a market leader in mass spectrometry with more than 12,000 systems installed in laboratories worldwide. For more technical information about the new AB SCIEX QTRAP 5500 System and the AB SCIEX Triple Quadrupole 5500 System, please visit:
    About Applied Biosystems Inc.
    Applied Biosystems Inc. (formerly known as Applera Corporation) is a global leader in the development and marketing of instrument-based systems, consumables, software, and services for academic research, the life science industry and commercial markets. Driven by its employees' belief in the power of science to improve the human condition, the company commercializes innovative technology solutions for DNA, RNA, protein and small molecule analysis. Customers across the disciplines of academic and clinical research, pharmaceutical research and manufacturing, forensic DNA analysis, and agricultural biotechnology use the company’s tools and services to accelerate scientific discovery, improve processes related to drug discovery and development, detect potentially pathogenic microorganisms, and identify individuals based on DNA sources.
    About MDS Analytical Technologies
    MDS Analytical Technologies, a business unit of MDS Inc., is focused on the research, design, manufacture and marketing of state-of-the-art tools for mass-spectrometry, drug discovery and bioresearch. MDS Analytical Technologies products are designed to help accelerate the complex process of discovering and developing new drug compounds, and are sold to research scientists around the world. The mass-spectrometer product lines are also sold globally through joint ventures with two of the world’s leading analytical instrumentation and life sciences companies, Applied Biosystems Inc and PerkinElmer Inc. Find out more at or
    Source: Applied Biosystems/MDS (press release)
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