Agilent Technologies Builds on 30-Percent LC/MS Growth with New Ultra-High-Def Q-TOF, Next-Gen ICP-MS, Higher Performance Triple Quad LC/MS
01 Jun 2009

Two and a half weeks after Agilent Technologies Inc. announced its liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) sales were up 30 percent in the second quarter of fiscal year 2009 compared with the previous year, the company introduced 3 exciting new products: 

• the first benchtop Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) Accurate Mass Quadrupole Time of Flight (Q-TOF) LC/MS;
• the next-generation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS);
• and a new Triple Quadrupole LC/MS delivering more sensitivity and speed than its predecessor.

"We've been highly focused on building a large and loyal customer base in mass spectrometry over the last five years, and it's very gratifying to see this hard work be so well-received," said Gustavo Salem, Agilent vice president and general manager, Biological Systems Division. "Our plan is to continue delivering the extra levels of performance, speed, robustness and ease-of-use that are fueling Agilent's strong growth in MS, while continuing to offer our customers solutions with excellent value."

The Highest-Performing Benchtop Q-TOF

The Agilent 6540 Ultra-High-Definition (UHD) Accurate Mass Q-TOF is by far the highest performing benchtop Q-TOF on the market. It offers superior data quality and advanced analytical capabilities, enabling researchers to profile, identify, characterize and quantify low molecular-weight compounds and biomolecules with greater confidence. It delivers far better performance than comparable Q-TOF products without the inherent trade-offs in speed, resolution, dynamic range and isotopic fidelity that are required by orbitrap-based systems. Innovative Ion Beam Compression (IBC) and Enhanced Mirror Technology (EMT) produce ultra-high-definition mass accuracy and mass resolution while maintaining a benchtop format.

"While others have pursued a 'bigger must be better' approach to TOF flight tube development, Agilent has used advanced engineering to dramatically improve performance and maintain a benchtop-instrument format." said Ken Miller, Agilent senior global marketing director for LC/MS. "We've achieved huge gains in mass accuracy and resolution while maintaining our industry-leading sensitivity and dynamic range. And the system can run fast to generate accurate mass MS and MS/MS data for UHPLC analyses without the resolution loss suffered by orbitraps. This is the perfect system for state-of-the-art qualitative analysis in support of proteomic, metabolomic or non-targeted food safety and environmental studies."

Next-Gen ICP-MS Provides Unmatched Data Integrity

Agilent also chose ASMS 2009 to introduce the 7700 Series ICP-MS trace element analyzer, the successor to the world's best-selling ICP-MS, the Agilent 7500. The 7700 Series provides unmatched data integrity, is simple to operate and occupies the smallest footprint of any ICP-MS instrument.

"ICP-MS analysis is becoming more routine while labs are measuring greater numbers of elements, to lower levels, in more challenging samples. And there's growing demand for higher quality data along with more throughput and easier operation," said Chris Toney, Agilent vice president and general manager, mass spectrometry systems. "We set out to design a totally new instrument that addresses these needs, and the early access users tell us that they're very pleased with the results."

The most obvious feature of the new 7700 Series is its small size, occupying just 73 cm of bench space. The mainframe footprint is more than 30 percent smaller than any other ICP-MS. Despite its small footprint, the 7700 Series sets a new standard for ICP-MS performance and ease-of-use in a rugged package.

Collision/reaction cells have been adopted as the industry-standard technology for removing spectral interferences in ICP-MS. Agilent's Octopole Reaction System (ORS), featuring helium collision mode, provides the most reliable and effective interference removal, especially for complex and unknown sample types. The 7700 Series features a new, third generation cell (ORS3) which further improves the efficiency of helium mode, eliminating the need to use reaction mode (with reactive cell gases such as hydrogen) in almost all applications. This simplifies operation and eliminates false positives that frequently occur with reaction mode, thereby improving data quality.

The new collision/reaction cell, plus Agilent's unique High Matrix Introduction technology which is standard on the 7700, make the instrument particularly well suited for complex sample types such as food, wastewater and soil digests, while a redesigned ion lens improves sensitivity and reduces background noise across the mass range.

New Triple Quad Brings More Sensitivity, Faster Ion Monitoring, Faster Polarity Switching

The new Agilent 6430 Triple Quadrupole LC/MS is the next generation of the popular 6410 instrument, delivering higher sensitivity, faster monitoring of ions and faster polarity switching. The Agilent 6430 is extremely well suited for food testing, water analysis and protein biomarker discovery and validation, and the huge added performance comes at a very modest price increase compared with the previous model.

"We've been very gratified with the strong acceptance of the 6400 family of triple quads over the last three years, and this new model is a continuation of our strategy to provide highly-sensitive, rugged, easy-to-use LC triple quads at attractive prices," said Ken Miller, Agilent global marketing director, LC/MS.

The 6430 shares many of the high-performance features of Agilent's premium 6460 triple quadrupole MS, including an additional turbo pump for better ion transmission and better sensitivity, an option for the 6410 which is now standard on the 6430. The new instrument also features much faster polarity switching, able to switch from positive ion mode to negative ion mode in 30 ms. This allows greater flexibility to analyze complex mixtures, and to optimize sensitivity by exploiting the most prolific ions for a given analyte.

Kits to Fast Track New Pesticide and Toxicology Workflows

Agilent today also introduced pesticide and toxicology kits to help labs quickly implement new workflows and generate high confidence results.

"Instruments alone don't solve business problems," said Denise Ibens, Agilent solutions business development manager. "Agilent's pesticides and toxicology kits have been designed to specifically cut the costs of implementing new technologies, increase confidence in initial results and reduce the time to technical mastery."

The new application kits include the latest techniques to improve productivity in the laboratory such as GC Capillary Flow Technology, Deconvolution reporting and large GCMS and LCMS screening databases to speed up data review and analysis.

The application kits include a method of analysis, the analytical column and a documentation pack with a quick start guide. Some application kits even include a free sample preparation pack, advanced video tools to learn additional system features quickly and easily and application verification with a representative checkout standard. The quick start kits are available for GC, LC, GC/MS and LC/MS applications in food, environmental, forensics and petrochemical analysis. Additionally, the Agilent GC and GCMS kits are preconfigured in manufacturing and the applications are pretested to save days or even weeks of typical start-up time and effort in the lab.

Metabolomics Portal

Today Agilent also launched a Web portal focused on current trends and accomplishments in metabolomics, regardless of instrumentation and software used by the investigators.

Collaborations

Owlstone Nanotech Inc., a subsidiary of Advance Nanotech Inc. (OTCBB: AVNA), and Agilent today announced a phase one agreement to develop Owlstone's field-asymmetric ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS) filter as a front-end separation module for Agilent Accurate Mass time-of-flight mass spectrometers (TOF-MS).

The goal is to determine how the systems can work together to enable identification of previously unresolved analytes. The collaboration will also explore how FAIMS can speed up liquid chromatographic separations, saving valuable analysis time, and reduce ion suppression, improving method robustness and sensitivity.

Phytronix Technologies, Inc. and Agilent announced today that they have signed a non-exclusive co-marketing agreement to promote the Phytronix Laser Diode Thermal Desorption (LDTD) Ion Source with Agilent mass spectrometers. The LDTD Ion Source, used with an Agilent mass spectrometer, offers ultra fast sample analysis for both quantitative and qualitative applications in high-throughput environments such as drug discovery processes (ADMET and DMPK), toxicology, forensics, food safety, and environmental applications.

The LDTD complements Agilent's 1200 Series HPLC-Chip/MS. The latter provides on-line LC/MS at nanoflow rates that are well-suited to applications where sample amount is limited. The LDTD is based on a shotgun approach which uses the separation power of the mass spectrometer for high throughput small molecule quantitation in a myriad of applications. Agilent and Phytronix have co-developed the interface between the LDTD and Agilent mass spectrometers to provide life science users with throughput that can exceed 20,000 samples per week.

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