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New Mass Spec-related Proteomics Products From Pittcon


Besides its Apex-Q hybrid FTMS, Bruker Daltonics launched a host of new products for proteomics applications last week:

The Esquire HCT ion-trap mass spectrometer combines higher ion storage capacity with a proprietary scan mode at 26,000 Dalton/second. It offers a PeptideScan mode that can differentiate double- and triple-charged peptides over the entire mass range at high scan speeds. The sensitivity reaches the low- to mid-attomole range for many proteins. The instrument has a standard m/z-range up to 3,000 Dalton, as well as an extended mass range scan of up to 6,000 Dalton. Priced at $225,000, it will be available in May. The instrument, co-developed with Agilent, uses the same ion source and trap as Agilent’s new LC/MSD Trap XCT.

BioTOFIII is the next generation of Bruker’s ESI-TOF and ESI-Q-q-TOF. New ion optics and electronics allow the ESI-Q-q-TOF to reach a standard resolution of 20,000, and a resolution of more than 40,000 in multi-pass mode. Shipments will start in May.

MicroTOF is a benchtop ESI-TOF that can be used for accurate mass peptide analysis and mass determination of intact proteins. It has a resolution of 10,000 and better than 5 ppm mass accuracy with external calibration. The instrument measures at acquisition rates greater than 10 kHz and can generate 20 spectra per second. It is priced at $200,000 and will be available in May.

Compass is a new software environment for the control of all of Bruker’s life science mass spectrometers. Its instrument control module has a simple graphical user interface. For data processing, Compass incorporates and expands on the DA module. Additional tools allow processing of high mass accuracy datasets from Bruker Daltonics MALDI-TOF, API-TOF, and FTMS instruments. All Compass data-acquisition and processing modules are FDA 21 CFR Part 11 compliant. Data interpretation uses additional bioinformatics modules.


Thermo Electron introduced several proteomics software products, besides its LTQ FT mass spectrometer:

The new Sequest Cluster comes as an all-Windows or mixed Windows-Linux cluster and can be scaled up later. In terms of software, it includes TurboSequest, Enhanced Xpress, Peptide Matching, and ZSA for charge state analysis, among other programs.

BioWorks 3.1 is an update of Thermo’s protein identification software that includes the Sequest algorithm. Data mining is more flexible, results interpretation is faster, and protein quantification is improved. For quantification, the new version is no longer restricted to the ICAT label.

SALSA (Scoring Algorithm for Spectral Analysis) can identify tandem mass spectra that correspond to modified peptides and sequence variations that may reflect genetic mutations. It is sold as an option for the BioWorks 3.1 package. Thermo licenses the algorithm, developed by Daniel Liebler, exclusively from the University of Arizona.


Agilent Technologies has introduced a new ion-trap mass spectrometer called Agilent 1000 LC/MSD Trap XCT that promises to be about ten times more sensitive than its predecessor and have improved resolution and scan speed. The trap capacity has been improved four to eight times, and the instrument comes with a new scanning algorithm. It will be available to customers in June and will start at $200,000 for the mass spec, data system, and operating software. The instrument, developed with Bruker Daltonics, uses the same ion source and trap as Bruker’s new Esquire HCT instrument.

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