Tag Archives: mass spectrometry

Mass Spectrometry Assists with Alzheimer’s Amyloid Analysis

As readers of our IonBench blog know, we like to highlight scientific advances that are aided by mass spectrometry. Since our dedicated lab furniture assists researchers to focus on their work instead of their machines, by muffling mass spec vacuum pumps and making it simple to move a MS around in a crowded lab, we feel a very miniscule right to celebrate too.

We also know that many of you, our readers, are working to make just these sorts of breakthroughs that improve lives and advance science. In this post, we want to celebrate a very significant development in Alzheimer’s research that was aided by mass spectrometry.

Alzheimer’s and Amyloid-β

Alzheimer’s disease or “senile dementia” is increasingly prevalent. Recent statistics indicate that someone in the world develops it every 3.2 seconds. As healthcare improves in low- to middle-income countries, people are living longer and more of them are developing this disease. Unfortunately, by the time patients show symptoms  much damage to the brain has already occurred.

Researchers know that one of the earliest indicators of Alzheimer’s is the buildup of amyloid-β protein in the brain. Up until now, there have been two proven ways to identify this buildup in living patients: either image the patient’s brain with a PET scan or extract spinal-cord fluid from the patient. The cost and health risks of these procedures and the rise in the number of patients are some significant reasons why researchers have been working to develop a cost-effective and non-invasive way to screen for the disease.

Engaging Mass Spectrometry in the Process

In January, 2018, researchers in Japan and Australia published the results of their work to create a reliable blood test designed to detect a buildup of those amyloid-β proteins. They began by using immunoprecipitation to isolate amyloid-β. Next, they used mass spectrometry to differentiate amyloid proteins. When the process was complete, they compared their results with those obtained using PET scans. The blood test results were 90 percent successful in predicting the presence of amyloid-β levels in the brain when compared with the PET scanning.

Hope for the Future

Naturally, there is more work to be done before this blood test is ready for implementation in doctor’s offices around the globe. However, optimism abounds. Perhaps in five or six years, people will be regularly screened for Alzheimer’s through a routine blood test thanks to mass spectrometry.

What Advancements Are You Making?

Has your lab made a breakthrough using mass spectrometry? Send us a link to your big advancement so we can highlight it in a future post on mass spec successes. And if you need stronger, safer lab furniture so you can focus on your research, contact us today at 888-669-1233. We’ve got just what you need

New Mass Spec Applications Reveal Our Skin in New Ways

skinFollowers of this blog know how excited we get about the many ways mass spec technology transforms our world. The latest mass spec applications are revealing new things about something we tend to take for granted: our skin. Using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry-based metabolomics, researchers have developed a protocol that will bring new advances to studies on human skin, as well as the surface areas of any living being, paving the way for many practical applications.

Introducing 3D Molecular Cartography

This new protocol provides important breakthroughs on two different fronts. In the past, skin studies generally focused on a small area of skin. The new protocol, on the other hand, can look at skin over the entire body. For their seminal study, researchers took samples from 400 skin sites, each on two human bodies, one female and the other male. The study also broke new ground by focusing on both skin chemistry and microbial populations. Previously, studies tended to treat these separately. The kind of diagnostic power needed to gather, analyze, compare, and interpret the results from this vast amount of data was made possible because of mass spectrometry. LC–MS technology enabled the performance of advanced metabolomics while tandem mass spectrometry was utilized for molecular identification. The final product was a 3D model of the sampled human skin, reproducible in any mass spec laboratory.

Initial Research Findings and Implications

Analysis of these hundreds of skin samples revealed that, even three days after application, molecules from hygiene and beauty products, such as sunscreen, remained on the skin. Furthermore, compounds such as plastics and clothing were also detected and analyzed using these mass spec applications. Food components handled by the study participants were also determined to have become part of the skin’s chemical composition. Clearly, this new mass spec protocol has the potential to support investigation into a wide variety of factors that influence skin ecosystems, including susceptibility to disease, personal hygiene, and the impact of clothing and manufactured products on the skin’s environment. Further studies hold promise to map the complex interactions between humans and the microbial world as well. Moreover, 3D cartography also has the potential to aid in comprehension of such complex data by both researchers and the public.

Diverse Potential Mass Spec Applications

There are a host of possible directions these new mass spec applications can take. Being able to determine where molecules linger on a body can assist with forensics, while molecular mapping of plants can be used to determine the spread of pesticides and other substances across agricultural fields. The cosmetics industry is already taking note of the potential for researching the impact of various products on human skin. The sunscreen samples found in the research cited above would be of particular interest—and perhaps concern. New mass spec technology and applications arise every year, and we are thrilled to support such critical work in a very literal fashion, through our customizable IonBench MS and IonBench HPLC-UHPLC cart. No matter what your field of research, your mass spec applications will be aided by standing on a firm foundation. Contact us today to learn more about our mass spec lab benches.

Don’t Let Lab Configuration Become a Game of Twister

TwisterChances are good that you inherited your lab space and didn’t have much say in how it was set up. Unless you’re one of the fortunate few who has the luxury of designing a brand-new space from the very beginning, you’re stuck with what you have. Furthermore, every lab is different; you can’t just copy someone else’s lab configuration because even if you’ve got a room with the same shape and size, the power outlets won’t be in the same place and you likely won’t have the same MS model as other labs.

Configuring your lab can become a greater challenge with every passing year as you take on additional equipment and projects. Getting work done in a crowded, haphazardly laid out environment is like playing a game of Twister. This is why the ability to customize your lab configuration really matters.

The Safety Aspects of Lab Configuration

Anyone who’s played a game of Twister knows that when any configuration gets too complicated, the system, like the game’s players, collapses. While that’s cause for lighthearted laughter in a children’s game, it can have a much more serious impact on your lab. The spatial limitations posed by most labs present a difficult challenge when you’re setting up your furniture layout in an existing space or need to add new equipment.

Mass spectrometry requires you to have a lab configuration that safely contains roughing pumps, holds the mass spec itself in a way that you (and service techs) can easily and safely access it, and houses your necessary peripheral equipment.

Questions to Ask When Configuring Your Lab

We’ve worked with a lot of lab managers and have seen a wide variety of lab spaces. Over the years, we’ve developed a list of questions that will help as you prepare to reconfigure your lab to accommodate new equipment or lines of work.

  • How many pieces of equipment do you/will you have?
  • How do they need to be connected?
  • How large is each piece of equipment?
  • What peripherals need to be connected with each piece?
  • What types of connections does piece of equipment need (power, hoses, tubing, etc.)?
  • Will hoses and tubes need to go out through the back of the bench or down through the surface?

Getting it Right with Customizable Lab Benches

Fortunately, we can help. Our dedicated lab furniture is customizable, which allows you to make the most of your limited space. In response to the needs addressed by these questions, we’ve developed IonBenches that are strong enough to hold the largest and most complex of mass specs, can be drilled with holes right where you need them for any type of connection, and are built with strong caster wheels that allow you to rearrange your lab configuration each time your line of inquiry takes a new turn.

Our IonBenches also work well together. We can manufacture mirror-image benches, where enclosures can match up with each other, allowing proper integration between mass spec and HPLC systems.

Don’t get pulled into a game of Twister. You might consult with a cabinet maker about the best configuration for new cabinets in your kitchen, so why not let us guide you with solutions to maximize space for the best possible lab configuration?

Contact us today at 888-669-1233 to discuss how to make the most of the lab space you have.

Is Soundproofing Part of Your Lab Safety Strategy?

NoiseHow confident are you that the noise pollution in your lab isn’t reaching levels that could be interfering with the quality of your lab’s research—or worse, risking the health and well-being of your personnel?

Noise and, of course, its accompanying vibrations can result from conversation, the ever-present hum of lab equipment, or outside environmental factors (think of the landscaping crew running the lawn mower every Wednesday at 3pm).

All that noise can lend to a chaotic environment in which communication breaks down and instructions become harder to follow. High-level occupational noise leads to hearing loss and even low-level occupational noise has been linked to stress and cardiovascular disease.

In short, rising noise levels are a serious liability.

What Does Noise Reduction have to do with Lab Safety?

While the noise is doing a number on the people in your lab, vibration is compromising the integrity of your lab equipment. Your mass spectrometer, and the furniture that supports it, is slowly being shaken apart; tubes may begin to leak, cooling fans may start to break, and table joints become less stable.

The most ideal way to battle noise and vibration is to treat it at the source. Investing in dedicated lab furniture that’s designed specifically to minimize and contain noise is half the battle. But there are also soundproofing treatments you can incorporate into your lab design to help keep the equipment noise contained, and some of the hazardous side-effects at bay.

Basic Soundproofing Principles

 Avoid air cavities – Trapped air resonates and causes the walls or sides of whatever material is trapping it to vibrate. It’s the same basic principle of most musical instruments; drums, guitars, wind instruments—vibrations are captured and manipulated within an opening to produce a desired sound. So, if you have walls, cabinets, nooks or crannies in your lab that are potential air traps, find a way to identify and insulate those cavities with foam or other materials designed to absorb vibration.

Enclosures and barriers – At the core, noise reduction is about preventing sound from penetrating one side of a wall or enclosure and transmitting through the material into an adjacent area. Walls and barriers act as shields which dampen noise. Some labs are built with soundproofing and noise enclosures in mind, but if yours isn’t one of them, you can help alleviate the transmission of noise and vibration by creating or installing walls and barriers around your noisy mass spectrometer and vacuum pumps, gas generators, compressors, freezers—you get the idea.

Damping – The more mass a wall has, the harder it is for sound to travel through it. You’ll want to make sure your walls are thick and dampened. There are several sources online that will help you do this yourself. Of course, you can hire companies to do some of this work for you, and that might be practical if you’re redesigning your current lab or investing in a new construction project.

Noise Reduction, Compliments of Dedicated Lab Furniture

Like every other task in your lab, you need the right equipment and tools to get the job done. Cutting a significant portion of the noise off at the source will help reduce the total ambient sound traveling throughout your lab. Quiet vacuum pump enclosures are specialized cabinets designed to reduce vacuum pump noise by approximately 75%.

Our lab benches and desks are also expertly built with noise-reduction in mind. IonBench uses patented calibrated dampening springs to remove 99% of vibration transfer.

Beyond that, any soundproofing materials or barriers are just icing on the cake.

If you’re in a position to decide what the best plan of action is to soundproof your lab, and aren’t entirely sure what the next steps are, get a hold of us. We can help you with a noise reduction system that’s best for your needs.

How Smart Labs Battle Bad Vibrations

QuietThere are no “good vibrations” when it comes to your mass spec. Every new generation of mass spectrometer brings forth more sensitive machines that produce increasingly finer spectra. However, this increase in analytic power comes at a cost to the lab, which must maintain these sensitive machines in progressively more solid and stable lab conditions.

Keeping the damaging effects of vibration at bay can be done. Making sure you have the right lab furniture is key, but there are several other techniques smart labs use that we’ll share with you as well.

Sources of Sound and Vibration

First, let’s think about all the places vibrations can originate from. There are plenty of common sources of noise and movement in and around your lab environment that generate subtle but impactful vibration. With super-sensitive, modern mass spectrometry, even walking down a nearby hallway or closing a door can cause undue vibration. Vibrations can arise from cars going by outside the building and mechanical devices within it, such as elevators, HVAC units, compressors, pumps, etc. Buildings sway in response to weather and small movements of the earth, not to mention larger seismic activity. Even exhaust fans can contribute to bad vibrations if they become unbalanced.

Avoiding Bad Vibrations for Good Mass Spectrometry

Take a look at the Quiet Wing, created by the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory. This lab space was specifically engineered to minimize noise and vibration. Not every lab is in a position to build such a protected building from the ground up, but there are some easier and less expensive changes that can be made:

  • If possible, locate your mass spectrometry labs on the lowest floors of your research building to decrease the effect of building sway, weather, and seismic activity.
  • Keep sensitive mass specs far away from elevators, HVAC systems, compressors, etc.
  • Installing acoustic tiles and other sound-absorbing materials on walls and ceilings can help minimize vibration.
  • Incorporating signage that reminds lab personnel of the importance of keeping noise and physical activity down whenever possible.

Minimize Vibration with Good Laboratory Furniture

Vibration not only impacts the performance of sensitive mass specs, it can also shorten the lifespan of their components, especially the turbomolecular pumps. The irony is that vacuum pumps also create vibration, challenging mass spectrometry teams to create the vibration free environment needed for their research.

The surest solution is to invest in dedicated laboratory furniture with isolating vacuum pump enclosures, like the IonBench MS. Our enclosures reduce vacuum pump noise by a guaranteed 15 dbA, eliminating the miniscule, but measurable, vibrations created by significant noise.

These enclosures are mounted on patented dampening springs which absorb 99% of vibration transfer. We believe every lab can benefit by utilizing mass spectrometry laboratory furniture that both isolates noise and eliminates vibration—regardless of the building or environment in which it is set. IonBench MS tackles the noise and vibration issues at the source itself.

To learn more about how our laboratory furniture eliminates bad vibrations, contact us today to request a quote or to get your questions about integrating IonBench MS into your lab answered. Your mass spec will thank you for it.

Lab Safety and MS Sensitivity Leap Forward with TENGs

ElectricityOver its 130-year history, the mass spectrometer has undergone multiple technological advances. During that time, however, the power source has remained direct current—which has certain limiting factors. As you likely know, it’s typically impossible to control the number of charges in the ionization process. The number of generated ions also cannot be reliably correlated with the applied voltage.

A Revolutionary Power Source

Now, however, researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have broken through this power source limitation with the introduction of TENGs, or triboelectric nanogenerators. TENGs utilize oscillating high voltage and controlled current, thus having the capacity to improve the ionization process by increasing voltage without sample damage.

TENGs use friction to generate static electricity. By rubbing together one material that sheds electrons (such as nylon or glass) and a second material that naturally absorbs electrons (such as Teflon or silicon), TENGs power small, efficient electronic devices. This simple conversion of mechanical energy from friction to electricity has the capacity to transform much of mass spectrometry.

Micro-Power Makes a Macro-Difference

Why can TENGs make such a difference in mass spectrometry? A fixed input charge is the answer. Regardless of current or voltage, the mass spec can analyze much smaller samples at even higher sensitivities—down to 100 molecules. A fixed number of charges also allows for previously impossible control over the generation of ions—which enables the MS to work with much greater efficiency. Molecule charge can be controlled for every cycle, regardless of the TENG’s speed.

A leap in voltage is another consequence of using TENGs. Standard MS ionizers operate at less than 1,500 volts while TENGs can generate as much as 8,000 volts. This allows for much smaller sample sizes—a “completely different electrospray regime,” according to Professor Facundo Fernández of Georgia Tech.

Generating Leaps in Lab Safety and Portability

In addition to added sensitivity and the ability to use smaller sample sizes, TENGs also revolutionize the power equation. They eliminate the need for high-voltage power supplies (despite generating many more volts!). Removing such power sources from your lab will both increase lab safety and dramatically decrease your lab’s energy costs.

The benefits of mass spec miniaturization are countless. Without the need for high-voltage power supplies these nanogenerators have an increased potential for portability, making it easier to take mass specs into the field. Being able to analyze samples at the scene, especially in extreme, harsh environments, can both speed up time-sensitive processes and increase project efficiency.

We’re thrilled to see that mass specs continue to evolve and we’re here to help you to keep up with the many improvements happening in the field. Each new generation of mass spectrometer should be supported with dedicated lab furniture. It’s an investment that keeps lab safety at the forefront while crafting customizable lab benches that can meet the needs of every mass spec, researcher or technician. Contact us today to discuss your lab’s furniture needs and to learn more about our commitment to lab safety.

A Mass Spec User’s Guide to Pittcon 2017

LearnedThis year’s Pittcon, in Chicago IL, looks to be every bit as successful and informative as last year’s. With hundreds of experts gathered to share innovative news about biospectroscopy, liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry and more, the event is always an amazing opportunity for folks in the lab industry to step up their game and find solutions for all their lab challenges. Needless to say, we’re thrilled to be attending.

As a reader of this blog, you know we believe a safe lab environment increases productivity—and being informed is the best way to maintain that safe environment. That’s why we’re constantly trying to educate ourselves and our clients on the latest lab and mass spec technology. And Pittcon, besides being a great meeting of the minds, has tons of educational opportunities to offer. We’ve put together some highlights below.

Pittcon’s Greatest Mass Spec Offerings

  • 100 skill-building short courses – These courses are available to help you brush up in your areas of expertise. There are many categories to choose from—but here’s a few that we think are most beneficial:
  • Analytical Organic Mass Spectrometry
  • Highly Successful Strategies for LC/MS Quantitation: Current Applications and Emerging Technologies
  • An Introduction to Mass Spectrometry including Biomolecule Applications
  • Live Expo Demos – These 20-minute sessions feature new product demonstrations by leading companies—a perfect way to learn about innovative solutions to your unique lab challenges. It’s also a rare chance to engage in real time conversation with industry experts. Check out the complete live expo schedule to see what’s being shared.
  • The Magnificent Mile – In between live expos and workshops, make your way to The Magnificent Mile to unwind. No, we’re not talking about the famous Chicago shopping district, this one is in the middle of the exposition floor. It’s a great place to grab a bite to eat or even a relaxing massage. Here, attendees are finding tons of interactive displays that will engage the senses and stimulate the mind. Check out the Giant iPad, the Lab Gauntlet challenge, LEGO® Gravity Car racing and more!

Share Your Experiences!

We’re having a great time learning about all the new instrumentation, data management, lab equipment and research the leaders in the lab community have had up their sleeves. And we want to hear from you about what products or research you’re finding to be most intriguing at this year’s Pittcon.

Get in touch with us and let us know about any cool new mass spectrometry products or technology you’ve come across this year. And if you’re contemplating investing in a new piece of equipment, we’ll gladly help you select the right kind of dedicated lab furniture to help preserve and protect it.

Celebrating 2016’s Mass Spectrometry Life Sciences Breakthroughs

possibleFolks in scientific communities around the world are looking ahead to the challenges and eventual breakthroughs that await them this year. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we’d like to look back and celebrate the achievements of the previous year. We know that our dedicated lab furniture supported (literally!) thousands of different mass spectrometry projects in 2016.

Here are some prolific life sciences breakthroughs that occurred last year with the help of mass spec technology:

Bio-printed Kidney Tissue Avoids Renal Toxicity

3D printing continues to transform lives across the globe in a magnificent variety of ways. In 2016, Organovo bio-printed synthetic human tissue that can model complex organ toxicity. This allows for more accurate drug-response testing without the variations that occur with species-species variations or limited kidney functionality. The native human structure provides optimal transporter activity and cellular function, enabling a close study for multiple weeks of both architecture and biological responses.

The bio-printed tissue-like complexity supports the detection of injury, compensation, and recovery.

Leveraging Lipids to Predict Outcomes

Mass spectrometry is useful only if you know what markers to measure. In late 2016, a group of scientists published their life science work with burn patients, revealing a connection between lipidomics and clinical outcomes. They discovered that adipose tissue functions enhance hypermetabolism in traumatic situations, identifying specific free fatty acids which were initially measured at acutely elevated levels and slowly returned to baseline status over time. Impaired acute response in unsaturated free fatty acids was found in patients with greater burn severity or increased age. Furthermore, a significant elevation of saturated and mono-unsaturated free fatty acids correlated with increased mortality.

Mass spectrometry lipidomics can consequently indicate critical diagnostic outcomes in burn patients.

Two Steps Forward in Tackling the Zika Virus

The Zika Virus was attacked on multiple fronts in 2016, and mass spectrometry’s role in this life science puzzle proved highly beneficial. Development is underway for a rapid diagnostic tool that will both detect and confirm the presence of Zika within a small blood or saliva sample. Using a similar protocol that detects HIV/AIDS, scientists are splitting the sample for antibody detection as well as molecular amplification. Since the Zika genetic profile degrades quickly, amplification provides the possibility of prolonging detection through analytical sensitivity.

On the treatment side of this life science equation, Purdue University researchers have mapped the structure of the Zika virus, which has similarities to and is often confused with the dengue virus. Utilizing cryo-electron microscopy, researchers have discovered potential areas of the virus that could lead to antiviral or antibody treatment development options as well as providing keys for distinguishing Zika from dengue.

Mass Spectrometry Aids with Beta Cell Regrowth

Diabetes research provided our final life science breakthrough for 2016. Beta cells store and release insulin within the body, and Joslin Diabetes Center research, aided by mass spectrometry, has revealed that SerpinB1 regenerates beta cells within the body. Furthermore, SerpinB1 is produced by the liver, meaning that this process exists natively within the body. Synthetic SerpinB1 has also proven to stimulate beta cells in laboratory conditions, paving the way for drug discovery and a practical application for patients who are living with diabetes.

Of course, none of these groundbreaking achievements would have been possible without critical thinking and the creative application of mass spectrometry to serve real-world life sciences problems. We applaud the hard-working researchers in each of these cases and hope that they are trusting their mass specs to strong, safe, dedicated lab furniture like ours.

To join the ranks of those doing the same, contact us today.

Remove Peak Tailing with Elevating Dedicated Lab Furniture

elevatorAs an LC/MS researcher, you know that diffusion, void volume and the resultant peak tailing are some issues that can cause your test results to fall short of perfection. You don’t want to undo the good work of your liquid or gas chromatography by having a long transfer line between your HPLC and your mass spec. We’ve designed the IonBench dedicated lab furniture to assist your CE or LC in getting “up close and personal” for mass spectrometry that’s as close to performance perfection as possible.

Raising Your Mass Spectrometry Results to New Heights

The classic configuration between LCs and mass spectrometers involves placing them on a single piece of dedicated lab furniture. Then a transfer line that can be as long as three feet is stretched from the column effluent of the LC or GC to the inlet on the mass spec. During those three feet, the column separation begins to diffuse, and nobody wants that.

This is why we designed our HPLC-UHPLC lab bench with adjustable height ranges. You can place your LC on this separate bench and move the LC up or down in order to make the column effluent and source as close together as possible. The adjustable heights of our standard benches range from 45 cm or 17.7 inches all the way up to 97 cm or 37.7 inches. We can also craft custom dedicated lab furniture configurations upon request, if these heights will not work for your perfect scenario.

Our HPLC-UHPLC Lab Bench Gets Around

We also put our HPLC-UHPLC bench on caster wheels to make it easy to maneuver. This means that, in addition to raising your LC to the perfect height, you can also move it closer to your mass spec, further minimizing the diffusion that comes from void volume in your transfer line. In fact, test results have proven that you can optimize the performance of your LC/MS combination by adjusting position X, Y and height H, so that the column is as close as possible to the mass spectrometry source. With this optimization, we have seen void volume decrease from 50 µL to just 10 µL, for a 25% improvement in throughput and an astounding 50% improvement in resolution.

There are other reasons why putting our lab bench on casters will make sense in your lab. Perhaps you need to run the same sample on a Triple Quad and on a TOF or Orbitrap to get a more qualitative result. Rather than restarting the entire process on another LC, you can simply slide the first LC over to the other mass spec, hook it up, and be injecting in just ten minutes.

Additional Reasons for Investing in Dedicated Lab Furniture

Beyond improved performance, safety is another reason for investing in our lab benches. When it’s time to service your LC, reaching the top of the chromatograph can prove difficult—and hiring former basketball players as lab techs isn’t always an option! Rather than dragging a stepstool out of a nearby storage room or standing on a desk chair (perhaps even one on wheels, yikes!) to reach the solvent reservoir, you can easily lower the HPLC-UHPLC bench and keep your feet firmly, and safely, on the floor.

The lockable caster wheels on our lab benches also make it easy to reconfigure your lab when new test sequences are needed, or additional mass spectrometry tasks performed. No backs will be strained or injured, and you won’t need to schedule downtime in the lab to move the furniture around. Simply unlock the casters and easily move your machines.

To learn more about the time and energy-saving benefits of IonBench dedicated lab furniture, contact us today.

Minimizing Mass Spectrometry Vibrations for the Life of Your Machine

vibrationsWe’ve heard a lot of interesting stories in the years we’ve been selling lab benches. Some of them make a really good case about why you need dedicated lab furniture. For example, we recently heard from a service tech about a lab that was located near an active rock quarry. The vibrations from the blasting in the quarry affected the mass spectrometry, actually shortening the life of the machine itself.

Fortunately, most labs don’t have to address that problem. Even jackhammers come and go, creating only temporary issues for sensitive mass specs. But with mass spectrometry, there is no such thing as good vibrations, which is why we have worked hard to create dedicated lab furniture that will dampen roughing pump vibrations by 99%.

Roughing Pumps and Turbopumps

As you know, not all pumps are alike. Vacuum pumps are a critical component of mass spectrometry, but no one’s been able to create a cool and quiet one yet. Roughing pumps are like the jackhammers of the MS world, doing the initial hard work without any finesse. This means that they generate lots of vibration, heat and noise. Unfortunately, that vibration, heat and noise pose a serious threat to the turbopumps—which in a perfect world, would operate within a vacuum as well as create one. They’re like a master jeweler who needs a quiet, sterile, vibration-free environment in which to make delicate, precise movements.

Vibration-Free Mass Spectrometry

This is why we designed our IonBench dedicated lab furniture to minimize vibrations, block noise and evacuate heat from MS vacuum pumps. We’ve created special enclosures that ventilate the heat away from the mass spec. We’ve also crafted patented springs that support anti-vibration platforms for those pumps. We request detailed information on our clients’ mass spec models and then install specifically calibrated springs to match the exact weight and distribution needed. In this way, we can reduce forepump vibration by 99%, creating a vibration-free zone in which the turbopumps can work.

The Cost of Vibration

There is a big reason that we go to all this trouble when we create our customized IonBench dedicated lab furniture for you. Turbopumps are expensive, and generally have to be replaced every one to three years. Those same techs who told us the quarry story say that repairs for turbopumps cost about $5,000, and a new one will set you back around $20,000. There are other factors that determine the life of a turbopump, including the kind of samples you’re working with and how frequently you’re using your mass spec. But again, there is no such thing as good vibrations when it comes to turbopumps. Reducing vibration can extend the life of the pump, which can save you as much as $20-30,000 over a five-year span. Use the wrong lab furniture and that’s a significant chunk of change for any lab to absorb.

This is yet another reason why it’s always a good idea to invest in IonBench dedicated lab furniture. If you’re investing hundreds of thousands in a mass spectrometer, it makes sense to invest in the right lab bench to keep that MS working at peak efficiency for as long as possible. To learn more about our commitment to minimize vibrations, contact us today.