Mass spectrometry is an incredibly powerful tool that combines principles of both chemistry and physics. By measuring the nuclei of atoms instead of their chemical properties, mass spectrometry has major advantages over other assays.
Every analyte requires a unique, optimized protocol. Nonetheless, every mass spectrometry experiment follows these general steps:
- Sample Preparation
Putting any unprocessed sample through the machine, from whole blood to raw soil, would yield an overwhelming amount of noisy, unhelpful information. Instead, we separate out the compound of interest, thereby eliminating noise and increasing precision. Every analyte will undergo a unique preparation process before separation.
- Separation (Chromatography)
When the sample is ready, it is pushed through a chromatography system. The chromatography method used is determined by the the physical and chemical properties of the sample. We custom design an optimized protocol for any given experiment. As a mixture is pushed through the chromatography column, compounds with high affinity for the column are slowed down, allowing the particles with less affinity to move through faster. This process allows us to analyze specific compounds, giving high resolution by eliminating noise.
- Mass Spectrometry
Once the sample is ready, is it fed into the mass spectrometer. Because the sample was separated, different compounds come out at different times and are measured individually. The mass spectrometer will measure the time a specific mass comes out, the mass of that compound, and counts the number of particles detected. Although the concept behind the measurement remains consistent, different mass spectrometers offer unique advantages depending on the experiment.
Our D-ID technology is more powerful than any other mass spectrometry technique because we add two crucial steps, one before and one after, these three traditional steps.
- Isotopic Spikes
Before sample processing, we introduce isotopic spikes to the sample.
- Mathematically Quantified Isotope Ratios
After the mass spectrometry process, we mathematically quantify isotope ratios, giving us the unique ability to definitively quantify any analyte. To learn how this works, please read about our D-IDMS and D-SIDMS technology.
We urge you to contact us to find out more about how our technology can help your project.