MSACL 2016 US Abstract

Overview of MS Instrumentation

Breland Smith (Presenter)
University of California, San Diego

Authorship: Breland E. Smith, PhD
University of California San Diego, Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine, 10300 Campus Point Drive, San Diego, CA 92121

Short Abstract

Mass spectrometry is a highly sensitive analytical technique with growing importance in the clinical lab. This session will cover the basic principle of mass spectrometry describing the three main components of a mass spectrometer, with a focus on tandem mass spectrometry (MS-MS) and its use in clinical chemistry.

Long Abstract

Mass spectrometry is an analytical technique in which molecules are detected based on their mass-to-charge ratio (m/z), and is commonly coupled to a chromatographic separation technique which in the clinical lab is typically liquid chromatography (LC). A mass spectrometer consists of three main components which are the ion source, mass analyzer, and detector. The ion source charges analytes so they can be separated in the mass analyzer and sent to the detector. In this session the basic function of each of these components will be explained and a brief discussion of the most common ionization methods and mass analyzers utilized in the clinical lab will be provided. The detector is connected to a computer that generates a total ion chromatogram (TIC) which is a plot of the ion count vs. time and depicts the total number of ions that reached the detector. A mass spectrum is a plot of relative intensity vs. mass-to-charge ratio of ions detected at a particular time-point during the run. In clinical chemistry, tandem mass spectrometry is used to enhance the sensitivity and selectivity for the quantification and identification of molecules of interest.

Learning objectives:

1) Understand how molecules are detected in mass spectrometry.

2) Understand the basic components of a mass spectrometer and the types of ion sources and mass analyzers most relevant in the clinical lab.

3) Understand how tandem mass spec (MS-MS) offers improved sensitivity and selectivity over traditional MS providing clear advantages and unique applications in clinical chemistry.

References & Acknowledgements:

Financial Disclosure

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