Mass Spectrometry at IMSERC
The Mass Spectrometry Facility supports Northwestern Research by performing both qualitative and quantitative analysis of small molecule, macro-molecules, and mixed mode biopolymeric samples. Examples of application areas are drug discovery, synthetic reaction monitoring, nano-particle characterization, etc. Also, analysis can be with or without chromatographic separation, in low or high resolution. For spatial resolution, imaging by mass spectrometry is also performed on synthetic surfaces. IMSERC staff can assist in three types of operational modes, (1) Open Access - researchers are trained to operate the instruments and make their own measurements, (2) Assisted Open Access - IMSERC staff work cooperatively with a reasearcher to design and carry out experiments, (3) Full Service - IMSERC staff accepts submitted samples / projects and performs method development, validation, and test sample analysis as needed.
Please explore the following sections for more details on Mass Spec operations at IMSERC:
- Accurate Mass Analysis / Forumula Verification
- Purity analysis of samples using LC-UV-MS
- Compound molecular formula determination and/or confirmation
- Quantitation of organic compounds in biological or environmental samples
- Peptide / Protein molecular weight determination
- Oligonucleotide molecular weight determination and impurity analysis
- Imaging by mass spectrometry
- Untargeted Lipidomics Profiling
- Residual Solvent Analysis by Headspace GCMS
- Analytical Method Development
- Clinical Pharmacology and Rapid PK Analysis
The IMSERC Mass Spectrometry lab is located in BG70 in Tech . The center currently houses two Agilent GC-MS systems with polar and non-polar columns, including one with a headspace module, one high resolution Waters GC-ToF, two Bruker Ion Trap LCMS and LCMSMS systems for MW i.d., mixture analysis, and quantitation of moderately low concetnration samples, one Sciex 6500+ for ultra low trace level quantitation in UPLC or nanoLC modes, one Bruker Imapact-II QToF MSMS system for ultra high resolution measurements of small to very large molecules with both UPLC and nanoLC capabilities, one Bruker AutoFlex-III MALDI-ToF system with SmartBeam-II laser (355 nm wavelength) for both single spot MW i.d. and two dimensional imaging, and one Advion exPression cMS capable of direct sampling from a TLC plate or an ASAP probe. Read more about Mass Spectrometers at IMSERC.
IMSERC-MS also maintains two polymer characterization systems with Wyatt Technology Multi-Angle light scattering detectors, one for organic soluble polymers and one for water soluble macromolecules. A Dynamic light scattering system for batch measurements is also available.
The same safety policies that govern IMSERC govern the MS area policies . You must wear closed toed shoes, long pants, and shirts that cover your shoulders and midriff area.
Some of the data analysis software is available on a processing computer. Because of the licensing issues, we cannot install them on personal computuers. If the software you need is available on a processing computer, you may use it without charge.
You can find More information about mass spectrometry in general, or special projects in mass spectrometry, instrument SOPs, tested / validated protocols, etc. If you don't find what you need, feel free to contact IMSERC staff . You can also visit our FAQs page which may help answer your questions.