High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry (HRMS)

High-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) is a mass spectrometry technique for trace level molecular analysis in vaporized samples. It achieves accurate mass measurement (~0.001 Da) and identification of isotopes. Infinita Lab, USA, offers this test to clients in the USA and across the world through its vast laboratory network.

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    High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry (HRMS)

    High-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) is a mass spectrometry technique for trace level analysis. HRMS can achieve mass measurement accuracy of 0.001 Da and detect trace quantities (mDa) of elements. The underlying mass spectrometry principle involves ionization of analyte compounds in vapour phase, accelerating the ionized fragments in an electric field and separating them by mass analyzer, based on the mass to charge ratios (m/z). The separated ions are detected using electron multiplier detectors. The intensities of the detected ions, when plotted against mass to charge ratios, constitute the characteristic mass spectra. Enhanced mass resolution of HRMS enables identification of isotopes and compounds with similar ‘m/z’ ratios, that overlap on mass spectra at lower resolutions. Various methods for ionization such as electron ionization, chemical ionization and cold electron ionization are used, depending on the application. HRMS uses conventional mass analyzers including magnetic sector, quadrupole, ion-trap or time-of-flight (TOF) analyzers in tandem or hybrid mode, augmented by other techniques to achieve high resolution based on analytical need and economics. For example, a resolution of 50,000 can distinguish ions differing by about 50 ppm, which can be accomplished by a High-Resolution-TOF mass analyzer. On the other hand, FT-ICR-MS (Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry) can provide resolution of 1000,000 but would be more expensive. HRMS finds application in bioanalytical research, drug screening, doping control, glycomics and proteomics, food analysis, environmental sciences, clinical toxicology and forensics.

    Common Uses of High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry (HRMS)

    • Biomolecule analysis
    • Environment analysis
    • Pesticide residue analysis
    • Forensic analysis
    • Drugs and metabolites analysis
    • Medical research
    • Food industry

     Advantages of High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry (HRMS)

    • Accurate mass measurements
    • Ability to identify isotopes
    • Wide range of high-resolution powers depending on analyzer configuration

     Limitations of High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry (HRMS)

    • Higher resolution instrumentation is expensive, so trade-off is required

     Industrial Applications of High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry (HRMS)

    • Pharmaceutical
    • Food and beverages
    • Agrochemicals
    • Environment
    • Medical research
    • Drug abuse/ Doping control
    • Forensics

    More Details:

    Lecture 06 High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (HRMS) (lcms-online-training.com)

    Fiehn Lab – Mass Resolution and Resolving Power (ucdavis.edu)


    Advancing Critical Applications of High Resolution Mass Spectrometry for DOM Assessments: Re-Engaging with Mass Spectral Principles, Limitations, and Data Analysis (acs.org)

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