NEW SIFT-MS Paper Published: Multiple Headspace Extraction-Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry (MHE-SIFT-MS)


24th January 2022

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Multiple Headspace Extraction-Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry (MHE-SIFT-MS).

Part 1: A Protocol for Method Development and Transfer to Routine Analysis


ABSTRACT: Multiple Headspace Extraction-Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry (MHE-SIFT-MS)

The toxicity of many volatile organic compounds (VOCs) means that the safety of polymeric and other materials in contact with, or near, pharmaceutical and food products must be assured through sensitive, quantitative measurement. Headspace VOC analysis, namely the multiple headspace extraction (MHE) technique, was developed in the 1980s to provide quantitative analysis of VOCs in condensed-phase samples.

However, in 2022 Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry (SIFT-MS) is a direct-injection mass spectrometry (DIMS) technique which is able to significantly reduce the analysis time for routine headspace VOC analysis when compared to gas chromatography (GC) methods.

Using the prototypical polystyrene system, this study represents the first detailed application of MHE to SIFT-MS, describing protocols for method development (including optimization of equilibration temperature and time, plus calibration), data evaluation, and adoption of the technique into routine analysis.

MHE-SIFT-MS gives an eightfold throughput advantage over MHE-GC while being highly repeatable (relative standard deviation, RSD, less than 2%).







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Vaughan Langford – Syft Technologies, Principal Scientist & Mark Perkins – Senior Apps Chemist, Anatune



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Mark J. Perkins – Anatune, Senior Application Scientist

“I joined Anatune in April 2015 in the role of Applications Chemist. I was formerly with TARRC where I was head of the Materials Characterisation Unit. In my time at TAARC, I gained 12 years’ experience in polymer R&D, testing and analysis, having joined the company in 2002 as a Senior Analyst running the gas and liquid chromatography section. I graduated from the University of Southampton with a BSc (Hons) degree in Chemistry in 1992, followed by a PhD in electrochemistry. Here at Anatune, I will be performing the role of Product Specialist for our new range of SIFT-MS products.”



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