Mass spectrometry

Mass spectrometry (MS) is an analytical technique that ionizes chemical species and sorts the ions based on their mass to charge ratio. In simpler terms, a mass spectrum measures the masses within a sample. Mass spectrometry is used in many different fields and is applied to pure samples as well as complex mixtures.

  • Corrective glass for mass spectrometry imaging

    Custom-built laser source for mass spectrometry imaging: By means of the improved LAESI technique the surface of this coarse piece of savoy cabbage can now be chemically analyzed. Benjamin Bartels / Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology

    Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have now improved mass spectrometry imaging in such a way that the distribution of molecules can also be visualized on rippled, hairy, bulgy or coarse surfaces. The source of the laser-based technique was custom-built to accommodate the topography of non-flat samples. By employing a distances sensor, a height profile of the surface is recorded before the actual chemical imaging. The new tool can be used for answering ecological questions from a new perspective.

  • Duromere mit dem Laser sprengen: Neue Analytik charakterisiert Harze und Härter

    Duromere konnten sich in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten zu Hochleistungswerkstoffen entwickeln. Zu verdanken haben sie dies hauptsächlich den eingesetzten Harzen und Härtern. Da Duromere nicht löslich sind, existierte bisher keine passende analytische Methode, um an Informationen über die chemische Zusammensetzung dieser zentralen Bausteine zu kommen. Diese Information ist aber essentiell, wenn Schäden analysiert und neue Produkte entwickelt werden sollen. Wissenschaftler des Fraunhofer-Instituts für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF, haben eine Analytik erarbeitet, mit der sie die verwendeten Harze und Härter in Duromeren erstmalig chemisch charakterisieren können.

  • EU funds research on biofuels and infectious diseases

    Salmolla. © Goethe University Frankfurt.

    FRANKFURT. Two ERC Advanced Investigator Grants of the European Research Council to the amount of € 2.5 million each are going to researchers at Goethe University Frankfurt. Biochemist and physician Professor Ivan Dikic and microbiologist Professor Volker Müller are very honoured that their pioneering research projects have been selected for this substantial financial support.

    Volker Müller is one of the leading microbiologists worldwide in the field of microbial metabolism of microbes that grow in the absence of oxygen. His project centres on the production of biofuels with the help of bacteria that can use carbon dioxide as feedstock.

  • Extensive Funding for Research on Chromatin, Adrenal Gland, and Cancer Therapy

    Source: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

    At the end of May, the Joint Committee of the German Research Foundation (DFG) decided on the funding for Collaborative Research Centers (Sonderforschungsbereiche, SFBs). The Helmholtz Zentrum München is participating in three of the selected projects. A total of around 5.3 million euros will be distributed to the participating institutes over a period of four years starting on July 1.

    The funding allows close transregional cooperation among universities and their researchers as well as networking and shared use of the resources. The DFG has a total of just under 600 million euros available in its annual budget for CRC/TRR projects. The DFG will consequently be funding a total of 267 Collaborative Research Centres starting in July 2017.

  • Innovative Method Provides Unique Insights into the Structure of Cells and Tissues

    Left: how the t-MALDI-2-MS imaging method works. Right: an example, in which the complex structure of a mouse’s cerebellum is shown by means of the superimposition of three ion signals. Nature Research/Marcel Niehaus

    Scientists at Münster University investigate cells using dual-beam laser mass spectrometry:Cells are the basic building blocks of life. The chemical composition of cells can be determined by mass spectrometry. Scientists at the University of Münster present a method which has improved the spatial resolution of “MALDI” mass spectrometry by around one-thousandth of a millimetre. The results have been published in "Nature Methods".

  • Molekulare Kamera macht Substanzen in Zellen sichtbar

    Rädertierchen frisst Pantoffeltierchen: Die Abbildungen a, c, e und g zeigen jeweils drei verschiedene Substanzen (in rot, grün bzw. blau), die in den vier Pantoffeltierchen vorgefunden wurden. Abbildung: Kompauer et al., Nature Methods

    Neues Massenspektrometer an der Universität Gießen ermöglicht vielfältige Forschungen in den Lebenswissenschaften – Veröffentlichung in „Nature Methods“. Eine weltweit einzigartige an der Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen (JLU) entwickelte Untersuchungsmethode vereint die Vorteile von Mikroskop und Massenspektrometer: Mit dem neuen Gerät, das die Arbeitsgruppe des Chemikers Prof. Dr. Bernhard Spengler in der aktuellen Ausgabe von „Nature Methods“ vorstellt, lassen sich unzählige Stoffe dank Massenspektrometrie in biologischem Gewebe nachweisen und in ihrem chemischen Aufbau entschlüsseln.

  • Nano-Switches in the Cell

    3D-structure of mitochondria in a budding yeast cell. Labeling with a green fluorescent protein shows that mitochondria form a tight tubular network in the cell. Source: Stefan Jakobs

    A team with researchers from Freiburg discovered a new mechanism for the regulation of protein synthesis. Mitochondria, best known for their role as cellular power plants, perform numerous vital tasks in the cell. During cell respiration, reactive oxygen species can be formed in mitochondria. If these are present in excess, their high reactivity leads to irreparable damage to important cellular components.

  • New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

    Laser pulse sequences (u.l.) cause 2D spectra (u.r.): In EEI2D spectroscopy (b.l.), two originally separate excitations meet. With 2D mass spectrometry (r.), ion photoproducts are detected. Graphic: Tobias Brixner, JMU

    Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy. "Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy.

  • Novel method to benchmark and improve the performance of protein measurement techniques

    Analysis of a marine sample of photosynthetic picoplankton by flow cytometry showing three different populations (Prochlorococcus, Synechococcus, and picoeukaryotes)

    Quantum leap in the reliability of mass spectrometry-based proteomics. Modern mass spectrometry systems enable scientists to routinely determine the quantitative composition of cells or tissue samples. However, different analysis software packages often produce different results from the same raw data. An international team of researchers led by Professor Stefan Tenzer from the Mainz University Medical Center has now addressed this problem.

  • Refined method offers new piece in the cancer puzzle

    Analysis using TOF-SIMS of an area in a rodent brain.  The University of Gothenburg

    A special spectrometry method that is normally used in analyses of computer chips, lacquers and metals has been further developed at the University of Gothenburg so that it can help researchers better detect harmful cells in the body.

    ‘The method may become important for example for future analyses of breast cancer tissue,’ says PhD student Tina Angerer.