Tag Archives: mass spectrometry

Celebrating Fifty Plus Years of Mass Spectrometry in Space

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first human landing on the moon. That momentous occasion was made possible by some of our finest technology—including mass spectrometry. For example, dating all the way back to the first Apollo missions, earlier generations of the mass spec were keeping an eye on cabin air quality. In this post, we recognize and celebrate the various roles played by mass spectrometry in more than fifty years of space exploration.

The Use of Mass Spectrometry in the Moon and Orbital Space Programs

Atmospheric analysis was the primary purpose for mass spectrometry in the first decades of the space program. Initially, it was used to monitor VOCs during early space flights. Once we actually landed on the moon, mass spectrometry was tapped again to analyze the moon’s atmosphere. Today, mass spectrometry is currently used to monitor air quality at the International Space Station.

Much of the revolutionary nature of mass spec’s use in space exploration had to do with transforming MS instruments to withstand the unique challenges of space. Both the analytical capabilities of mass spectrometry and the logistical needs of mass spec instruments themselves were challenged by operating in that most unforgiving environment. MS sensitivity, selectivity, and speed of processing all had to be addressed. The instruments themselves had to take up minimal space, weigh as little as possible, draw from a very limited power supply, and be able to withstand the significant gravitational forces of being hurled into space, as well as the radiation they encountered once they got there. Much of that successful miniaturization has contributed to the plethora of new mass spec uses today, some of which we’ve discussed previously.

Mass Spectrometry and Planetary Exploration

Mass spectrometry has also contributed much to our knowledge of Mars. The Viking landers and orbiters deployed mass specs that taught scientists most of what they knew about Mars until after the millennium, including revolutionary ideas about the possibility of water on the red planet. While those early lander missions were supposed to last just 90 days, Viking 1 continually sent information back for six years. (Can you imagine any lab’s mass specs being asked to perform reliably and remotely for years without servicing?)

Such explorations aren’t limited to Mars. The Huygens Probe, launched from Cassini, sampled the atmosphere on Saturn’s moon Titan a decade ago, finding complex organic compounds. The Pioneer Venus probe carried five mass specs, which had to be specially modified to handle the volume of incoming data as the probe rushed through the atmosphere, and also needed to discount background contamination by metal ions that would disperse off the instrument’s surface. Today, the Curiosity Rover is analyzing Mars as you read this, using a quadrupole mass spec to sample various rock layers as it moves across the surface of the planet.

Mass Spec’s Future, on Earth and in Space

As noted above, scientific advancements that enabled the MS to take flight have revolutionized the mass spectrometer here on earth. Newer technologies have included the direct sampling ion trap and ion-mobility spectrometry. Direct sampling allows for real-time air monitoring, which is essential for the health of humans in space. Ion-mobility spectrometry is used today to detect drugs and explosives, and the speed of its separations and ease of use are proving to be game-changers here on earth.

Meanwhile, another mass spectrometer has arrived where no human—or human instrument—has gone before: the sun. NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is currently orbiting the sun, collecting data that is expected to revolutionize scientific understanding of our home star. The first batch of data has arrived back here on earth and scientists are eager to interpret what this mass spec has discovered.

While IonBench dedicated lab furniture has yet to go into space, we are proud of all the work our benches have done to support MS work here on earth. To learn how IonBenches can support your mass spectrometry projects, reach out to Tim Hawkins via email or at 1-888-669-1233.

Saluting Mass Spectrometry Award Winners at Upcoming Pittcon

Pittcon (the Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy) happens in Philadelphia March 17–21. QuietBench will be there with information on our IonBenches, as will a number of luminaries in the fields of chromatography and mass Spectrometry. This is your chance to talk in person about our dedicated lab furniture.

The LCGC Lifetime Achievement in Chromatography Award

This year’s Pittcon will honor Milos Novotny of Indiana University with a lifetime achievement award. A major contributor to advancements in the field of chromatography, Novotny developed a world-class research program that trains the next generation of leaders. We’ve designed our moveable IonBench LC to support their efforts—and yours—with adjustable height ranges and the capacity to handle up to 500 kg of heavy weight, such as tandem processes, on a single piece of dedicated lab furniture.

The Pittcon Heritage Award

Dedicated lab furniture is not the only critical element that supports leaders such as Novotny. Without reliable, quality consumables, lab processes would grind to a halt and comparative analyses would falter. Over fifty years ago, Walter Supina and Nicholas Pelick founded Supelco to provide researchers with columns, standards, reagents, and accessories to keep their work moving forward. Pittcon will honor these pioneers who anticipated that, as chromatography grew, solving emerging analytical challenges required specific and dedicated tools.

Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Award

This award will be presented to a retiring professor of chemistry at Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan. Yukihiro (Yuki) Ozaki focused four decades of applying various types of spectroscopy. We believe that dedicated lab furniture should support his work—and others like it—and we strive to make our lab benches last for as long as his tenure.

LCGC Emerging Leader in Chromatography Award

Finally, we know that fields such as chromatography always evolve, and this year, Pittcon leaders will present their Emerging Leader award to Ken Broeckhoven of Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Broeckhoven’s research optimizes separation performance, and his efforts have resulted in over sixty published papers and forty talks. His focus on the fundamentals of chromatography reminds us of the need for a strong foundation—such as the one you will find in every IonBench.

If you’re coming to Pittcon, look for us. We’ll be exhibiting, along with our sister company MS Noise, at booth 2158. Discover why our IonBenches are so strong under pressure and so innovative in the constantly changing fields of mass spectrometry and chromatography. To set up an appointment or if you can’t make the conference, contact Tim Hawkins via email or at 1-888-669-1233.

More Mass Spectrometry Making a Difference

We periodically acknowledge advances and discoveries made with mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography. We know that often good work builds on previous foundations, which is why we provide a strong foundation for all mass specs with our dedicated lab furniture. In this post, we look at three innovations making a difference around the world.

Mass Spectrometry Aids in Determining Olive and Olive-Oil Safety

One ongoing issue with mass spectrometry is the harmful presence of lipids in samples that complicates the analysis of fatty foods. Researchers in Spain developed a novel analytical process that uses aminopropyl as a sorbent material and a Florisil cleanup in the elution step. These researchers used mass spectrometry twice—first GC-MS in SIM mode and then LC-MS-MS in positive ionization mode—to collect usable recoveries, which efficiently tested pesticide and herbicide levels in olives and olive oil. The development of this key process met newer, more stringent regulations regarding maximum contaminant levels set for olives and olive oil by the European Union and the United Nation’s Codex Alimentarius Commission of the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Quantifying Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Another methodology developed in the European Union determined and quantified nineteen polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Exposure to PAHs has been linked to multiple types of cancer; the EU prioritized fifteen of those nineteen PAHs for monitoring. A group of French researchers met the challenge and developed a process to determine PAHs in food and oil samples. The selective extraction of GC and tandem mass spectrometry, along with an isotope-dilution approach using 13C-labelled PAHs, provided greatly purified analytes. The methodology was quick and automated and provided high levels of sensitivity, selectivity, and interpretation.

Recording and Evaluating Mass Spectra in Their Native Environment

The ability to record mass spectra in ordinary samples in their native environment has been a holy grail for mass spectrometry. Researchers at Purdue University stepped toward this goal by developing ambient mass spectrometry. Using desorption electrospray ionization, they directed electrically charged droplets at the object of interest and then vacuumed up the released ions into the MS; rapid analysis took place on-site. Multiple uses for portable mass specs include explosives detection, natural-products discovery, and biological-tissue imaging.

Each of these examples demonstrate how researchers continue innovating applications of mass spectrometry that address real-world challenges. We celebrate these achievements and look forward to learning about more ways that mass spectrometry makes a difference.

Our IonBench dedicated lab furniture can be customized for each make and model of mass spec and HPLC so that researchers can focus on science and not on the inadequate support of their lab tables. To learn more about how our lab benches can be a firm foundation for your innovative work, contact Tim Hawkins via email or at 1-888-669-1233.

Cannabis Testing: A New Field for Mass Spectrometry

We periodically highlight new types of work in mass spec technology that our dedicated lab furniture supports. In this post, we put the spotlight on a rapidly growing, yet controversial use for mass spectrometry—cannabis analysis.

Setting the Stage for Types of Testing

The piecemeal legalization of cannabis is a challenge for the states where cannabis consumption has been approved. Each state has its own laws and regulations for the medical and/or recreational use of cannabis that include several challenges. First, crop protection agents are applied to increase yields and to standardize product appearance; testing must determine contaminant levels for consumer safety. Second, various—and sometimes nonexistent—maximum-residue limits exist. Third, sample variation is enormous because cannabis is ingested by various methods—orally, topically, or inhalation.

Four Types of Mass Spectrometry Cannabis Analysis

All of these variables have led to the need for LC-MS/MS technology, which determines chemical residues and compares them to the lowest legal—or possible—limits. High-resolution mass spectrometry has proven most effectively when analyzing compounds for the following four categories.

Pesticides

Pesticide levels are regulated in some states, such as Oregon, which has issued a guide list for acceptable types and levels of pesticides in flowers and concentrates. Other regulatory agencies now follow this standard. Targeted mass spectrometry can test for levels of stipulated residues, and some manufacturers are creating plug-and-play methodologies for efficient mass-spec analysis.

Mycotoxins

Human-generated pesticides are not the only contaminants affecting cannabis. Mycotoxins (molds and fungi) readily colonize crops and survive harvest and processing. Aflatoxins are of particular concern with cannabis; mass spectrometry can detect dangerous levels of these microbial contaminants.

Potency Levels

In addition to testing the presence of contaminants, mass spectrometry is also used to determine the levels of beneficial compounds in cannabis. Using mass spec, accurate and precise data can be collected from almost a dozen different cannabinoids. The development of streamlined sample preparation and analysis protocols can accurately compare samples.

Terpene Content

In addition to assessing cannabinoids, mass spec can test levels of various terpenes—essential oils that may enhance the cannabis experience and may promote certain health benefits. While mass spectrometry cannot assess the claims of those health benefits, determining the levels of various terpenes is certainly helpful for the comparison of cannabis crops and for marketing purposes.

Supporting Your Mass Spectrometry with Dedicated Lab Furniture

As with many inventions, it’s likely the early pioneers of mass spectrometry probably had no idea how useful those mass spec machines would become. And while new uses will contribute to the development of tomorrow’s machines, you can rest assured that IonBench will be there, literally, supporting those mass spectrometers both now and in the future. Whether you’re undertaking controversial cannabis analysis or engaged in more commonplace testing, all mass specs deserve the right foundation. To learn more about our IonBench MS, contact Tim Hawkins at tim.hawkins@farhawk.com or 1-888-669-1233.

New Mass Spectrometry Technique Connects UV Rays with Intelligence

As providers of the dedicated lab furniture that should support every mass spectrometer, we here at QuietBench like to spread the news when researchers make an innovative contribution to science. Here’s a report on a new discovery, aided by a specific mass spectrometry technique, that has increased our knowledge about human understanding.

The Role of Mass Spectrometry in a Recent Accidental Finding

Earlier this year, The Scientist reported on an unexpected discovery from a study into molecular analysis. Researchers in China were using a newly developed mass spectrometry technique to analyze single neurons, charting chemical constituents, physiological changes, and metabolism. Being able to investigate chemical changes at the cell level opens the window to observing physiological and pathological processes at levels not previously possible.

During this process, the researchers noticed the unanticipated presence of urocanic acid in the neurons. This acid absorbs ultraviolet (UV) light and may have a role in preventing UV skin damage. A literature search revealed that this molecule had not previously been detected in the central nervous system. Recognizing that they were entering uncharted territory, the researchers began to explore the possibility that UV light could boost urocanic acid levels in the brain.

Discovering How UV Light Impacts Learning and Memory

The results of their research were significant. Urocanic acid is also known to be an intermediate molecule generated in the conversion of histidine to glutamate, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter. Could urocanic acid and glutamate levels be connected?

Exposing mice to UV light, the researchers were able to confirm the connection between urocanic acid and glutamate, and also to link UV light to the increase in their presence in the brain. The researchers then were able to prove that mice exposed to increased UV light also experienced improvements in learning and memory. This skin-brain connection reveals that UV light can indeed support the human capacity to learn and understand.

Awaiting Further Developments in Research

Since mice are nocturnal and see the sun relatively rarely, further research must be done to confirm these connections and perhaps eventually apply them to humans. Meanwhile, since UV light is also still highly correlated with skin damage and cancer, this news is not an invitation for humans to stay out in the sun. It is, however, an intriguing development. Down the line, in fact, there may come a day when people can benefit from increased cognition capacity without having to expose themselves to UV rays at all.

Meanwhile, we hope that exposing you to these periodic news bulletins about the beneficial assistance of mass spectrometry in research labs is sufficient to keep you moving forward on your own research trajectories.

Your mass spec is a valuable partner in your research and deserves the very best foundation upon which to work. This is why we have created dedicated lab furniture that functions as a sturdy and silent partner in your discoveries. To learn more about how our IonBench MS can improve your workflow and hasten your own new understandings and discoveries, contact Tim Hawkins today by email at tim.hawkins@farhawk.com or by phone at 1-888-669-1233.

What to Do Before Your Lab Furniture Arrives

Are your mass spectrometry needs increasing? If you’re having conversations about ordering a new mass spec, make sure to order your new lab bench at the same time. Standard delivery of our dedicated lab furniture takes 2–3 weeks. This way, you can receive the lab bench in plenty of time to have it set up and waiting for your mass spec when it arrives. (If you’ve recently ordered a new mass spectrometer, call us for details on rush delivery.)

Just don’t forget, you need to prepare for the arrival of that mass spec lab furniture as well. Here are our tips for preparing the space for your new IonBench dedicated lab furniture.

Tip #1: Check for a Good Fit

Naturally you’re going to measure the space where you want your new equipment and lab bench to be installed. But don’t forget the prep work involved in getting your new bench to that installation point. As we’ve talked about in a prior post, you need to check the dimensions of every step of the journey from loading dock to installation point.

One question we frequently get is whether our IonBenches come pre-assembled. The answer is yes. As we discuss in the delivery section of our FAQs page, our IonBenches are delivered fully assembled and ready to use. While some additional items, like monitor arms, are installed on-site, the benches themselves are delivered in one piece, so you will need plenty of room to get it through doorways and down hallways.

Tip #2: Prepare for Uncrating Your Dedicated Lab Furniture

Another consideration is the uncrating of your new lab bench. We are responsible only for the delivery of your new lab furniture, but we keep a list of reliable third-party vendors that can uncrate your bench, dispose of the packing materials, and transfer the IonBench into your lab location. If you need those services, just let us know and we’ll recommend a team to help you.

Tip #3: Ask about Insurance

It’s a good idea that anyone who touches any part of your mass spectrometry system be fully bonded and insured. Many labs require it. This is especially important if space requirements demand that your new dedicated lab furniture be delivered uncrated. In large cities like Boston and New York, where space is at a premium and loading docks are usually compressed, goods often must be delivered completely uncrated.

Because of this, we suggest that you make certain every individual or team that’s responsible for any portion of the delivery and installation process be both bonded and insured. We assure you that we are fully bonded and insured for our part in the manufacturing and delivery process.

Do you have other questions about the delivery and installation of dedicated lab furniture? Tim Hawkins can answer them. Contact him at tim.hawkins@farhawk.com or 1-888-669-1233 to discuss the particular needs of your organization.

Not All Dedicated Lab Furniture is Built the Same Way

There are many reasons why a lab work space is different than that of your typical work environment. Most don’t handle dangerous chemicals on a regular basis, for example. Nor are they noisy, sometimes chaotic environments with loud instruments that are heavy enough to cause bodily harm. For those reasons and more, we believe labs should always be treated differently than other work environments—and that includes the furniture used.

Strong, resistant dedicated lab furniture is key for safety and efficiency in a lab. But once you start shopping for lab benches, you will discover there are differences in what’s available. We get a lot of questions about what makes our dedicated lab furniture different from the rest. Read on to find out the answers, based on information provided by our IonBench expert, Tim Hawkins.

Chem-res: Not Your Average Laminate

Whether it’s on television crime shows or in your own lab, you’ll find that the typical color of lab bench surfaces is black. That color isn’t there to make a fashion statement. It’s the result of constructing the benches with Chem-res, a specially designed epoxy resin that’s universally recognized and accepted by staff and researchers around the world. Chem-res actually comes in a number of different formulas, each manufactured to stand up to the particular needs of certain lab situations.

When shopping for dedicated lab furniture, don’t assume every black laminate is Chem-res. Ask to be sure. Also, explain what specific substances your lab bench surface needs to be protected from, and the instrument weights the bench will need to withstand. If you’re not satisfied with the answers, contact Tim Hawkins at 1-888-669-1233.

Upgrading Dedicated Lab Furniture with Trespa

But that just scratches the surface (ahem). If you need your mass spectrometry lab furniture to withstand high acid exposure on a regular basis, we can further improve your IonBench. For example, if your research involves inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, we can easily customize your bench by exchanging the Chem-res surface for one made of acid-resistant Trespa.

Why We Avoid Metal in Our Mass Spectrometry Benches

Something else that makes IonBenches different in the world of dedicated lab furniture is that we minimize metal in their construction.

Metals, being good conductors, also transmit vibrations. When you’re working with sensitive instruments, such as mass spectrometry technology, vibrations shorten the life of those machines.

For this reason, we manufacture our IonBench MS with laminated wood. Not only is this material strong enough to support the weight of mass spectrometry instruments, but it’s also capable of absorbing vibrations, keeping your instruments tuned to the peak of efficiency.

As you can see, many considerations go into each component of a good lab bench (to learn more, click here). Plus, every aspect of our IonBenches is carefully constructed to meet the particular needs of mass spectrometry.

To learn more about our IonBenches and ask Tim Hawkins your questions, contact him at tim.hawkins@farhawk.com or 1-888-669-1233.

Answering Your Questions: Why Dedicated Lab Furniture Is Worth the Price

As you might imagine, we get a lot of questions from lab managers and other professionals who are researching furniture for their labs. First-time buyers of dedicated lab furniture for mass spectrometry, HPLC, and related instruments often bring up some excellent points. Tim Hawkins, our IonBench expert, hears one question frequently: “Why can’t I build a good MS bench myself?” Read on, for our multi-part answer to this commonly asked question.

Yes, You Could, But…

The short answer to the above question is, “Well, actually you could build something similar yourself.” You could go to your local home improvement warehouse store, pick up similar, but likely less quality materials, and construct a basic piece of lab furniture on your own. You could build a sturdy table and make it the size and shape you need for the portion of your lab that’s set aside for mass spectrometry. You might even save a little money in the process.

However, there’s a lot more to developing a reliable and safe piece of dedicated lab furniture than what we just mentioned—which is why our IonBenches cost more than what you might build yourself.

Designing the Best Dedicated Lab Furniture

Let’s begin by talking about the design. We’ve seen a lot of labs in action and we understand how to make our IonBenches function efficiently in any lab configuration or situation. We know what types of electrical and other connections need to be included in the design and where they should enter and exit the bench without getting in the way of the mass spectrometer or becoming pinched or rubbed when the bench is moved.

We understand that mass spectrometry involves supporting the significant weight of these instruments while also allowing you to safely move your instrument around the lab. This is why we build our MS benches with strong, sturdy caster wheels—to keep your benches mobile and your procedures always moving forward.

Using the Right Materials for Mass Spectrometry

The materials used in our dedicated lab furniture—like those caster wheels—are another key component of our successful IonBenches. Mass spectrometry involves heat, oil, and a lot of noise from the roughing pumps. If you build a basic cabinet with materials from a home improvement store, you’re potentially introducing lab safety hazards that could result in a fire or accident.

For example, not all foams and laminates—and the glues that hold them—are up to the task. Can those materials tolerate the heat that is generated by roughing pumps? Remember, those pumps have to be put in some kind of insulated cabinet in order to keep lab noise down to a workable—and safe—level. Basic residential foam insulation and laminate choices also may not be able to handle the oils and various chemicals found in modern labs.

Valuing Expertise and Experience

There is a final reason why we believe you should leave the building of dedicated lab furniture to the experts. Just as expertise is key to the success of your lab procedures, the same is true with the building of lab benches.

As research professionals, you have been trained to run samples or manage the people who do. Through your education and experience, you have learned what’s required to run a lab in a safe and efficient manner. But chances are that education and experience, while considerable, didn’t include learning how to construct reliable, safe, and efficient lab benches. In other words, you’re better off spending time doing the things you’re paid to do.

In the end, it comes down to efficiency as much as anything else: Why spend your time and energy attempting to do something you haven’t been trained to do when you can instead rely on the dedicated lab furniture professionals at IonBench, who are experts in their field?

To discuss more of the advantages of our mass spectrometry furniture—or ask any other questions you may have—Tim Hawkins will be glad to help you. Please reach out to him at tim.hawkins@farhawk.com or 1-888-669-1233.

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.