Bruker’s TargetScreener 4D is its latest addition to the trapped ion mobility spectrometry (TIMS) range. TargetScreener 4D adds an exciting new dimension to routine analyses in applications such as forensic and toxicology, and food and environmental contaminant screening, by enabling high resolution ion mobility and ionic collisional cross section measurements in addition to retention time, molecular weight and fragment ions and their masses. These new parameters increase the reliability of screening data, freeing you from external considerations such as chromatographic conditions.
Bruker is known for its advanced mass spectrometry solutions for complex research applications, particularly with its MALDI Biotyper and QTOF instruments. The latter high-resolution accurate mass systems and TargetScreener HR enables mass spectrometry to be used for non-targeted screening for unknown compounds. However, historically, these instruments have lacked the sensitivity of triple quadrupole systems for routine screening. That all changed with the introduction of technology such as Bruker TIMS (TargetScreener 4D), VIP-HESI source for enhanced sensitivity and DART. Together, these not only enable new applications and workflows in routine analyses, but also significantly improves specificity, sensitivity and speed of analysis and applicability for standard applications; plus they allow retrospective data interrogation of the sample long after the data was generated.
TargetScreener 4D is the next generation of TargetScreener HR, in providing trapped ion mobility to separate ions based on their shape and size. The enhanced performance of the 4D exceeds anything previously possible; it even enables the separation of isomers that have identical molecular formulae and accurate mass, but different molecular structure, and thus different collisional cross-sections (CCS). In addition it can accurately measure collisional cross-sections and use these CCS values as an additional identification criterion.This makes collisional cross section on the ions a fourth analytical dimension. “Since we are measuring CCS of every ion going through the instrument, it becomes a true analytical dimension that informs our analyses, just like we rely on accurate mass or retention time,” comments Dr. Carsten Baessmann, Director of Applications Development at Bruker Applied Mass Spectrometry. “In fact, CCS is more reliable and trustworthy than retention time, since this parameter is an inherent attribute of the ion itself that is not dependent on external factors like chromatographic conditions”.
“Traditionally, triple quads were considered to be the true workhorses for routine analyses because of their high sensitivity, robustness, and relative simplicity. However, mass spec technology continues to evolve, and high-resolution accurate mass systems are becoming more and more common in modern labs,” explains Jeff Zonderman, Senior Vice President at Bruker Applied Mass Spectrometry. “By adding the TargetScreener 4D to mass spec, it allows the separation of isomers even when chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry alone are not enough. Secondly, CCS values accurately measured by the TargetScreener 4D, become another identification criterion for target analytes, just like accurate mass, isotopic pattern, or retention time. In addition, CCS values can be used as a filtering criteria to cleanup chemical background and improve the sensitivity in complex matrices.”