Waters, Advion to collaborate

Combination of ion mobility separation and chip-based sample introduction a win-win

Jeffrey Bouley
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MONTREUX, Switzerland—The 23rd LC-MS Montreux Symposium in November served as the forum for an announcement by Milford, Mass.-based Waters Corp. and Ithaca, N.Y.-based Advion Biosciences that they had successfully complet­ed the evaluation phase of an effort to integrate Advion's TriVersa NanoMate chip-based infusion technology with Waters' Synapt High Definition MS System.
According to the companies, the co-marketing collaboration promises to maximize the amount of information researchers can extract from their complex samples by combining the ease-of-use and reproducibility of Advion's nanoelectrospray chip-based sample introduction technology with the ion mobility-based separation capabilities pro­vided by the Synapt system.
Waters is in a prime position because it cur­rently has no competition for an MS system like Synapt, according to Dr. Alan Millar, HDMS Program Manager at Waters Corp.'s Manchester, England, technology center. And the system has attracted attention because it combines high-effi­ciency ion mobility with high-performance tan­dem MS, allowing "an additional dimension of sample separation based on the size, shape and charge of the ion," he notes.
However, investigations of this type require examining the proteins in the gas phase, which is usually done by using neutral pH solvents and low infusion flow rates, says Dr. Jack Henion, co-founder, chairman and CSO of Advion. That's where the TriVersa NanoMate sys­tem enters the picture.
"Mass spectrometry has been helpful for primary structures—the sequences of proteins—but not as helpful for the shape," Henion adds. "Knowing the shape opens doors for understanding how a new chemical entity can interact in a positive way with a target site, which is at the heart and soul of drug discovery."
As of press time, Waters had reportedly delivered one of the combined systems to a customer, so it's still too early to know how fast or how much the combined solution will catch on, Henion notes, but he adds that the "word so far is positive that people want this kind of technology."
And, as Millar notes, "the TriVersa NanoMate is well recog­nized in some of our target mar­kets, so some of our customers had previously expressed an interest in combining our two technologies."
Both Millar and Henion add that the system has been focused on large-molecule applications so far in testing, but they both expect to see the system add to knowledge of small-molecule candidates as well, particularly as the technology gets into the hands of more customers in the coming months.

Jeffrey Bouley

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