The Ultimate GC-MS Problem Solver for High Matrix Samples?

Martin Perkins

28th March 2013

The practicalities of working with “dirty” sample matrices by GC-MS involve dealing with two related problems:

  1. How to resolve analytes from matrix compounds that fall within the volatility range of the target compounds.
  2. How to prevent in-volatile matrix compounds from rapidly fouling-up the inlet, column and MS source, where they can rapidly degrade the performance of the system after only a few samples.

The new Agilent 7200 GC/Q-TOF promises to be the best solution yet for the first problem. It combines the benefits of a Time-of-Flight mass spectrometer (fast, full-scan, high resolution mass spectra) with the ability to obtain full-scan, accurate mass spectra of product ions from the MS/MS stage.

This is very useful because accurate mass alone does not always provide sufficient selectivity in complex sample matrices even with a small mass extraction window.

This still leaves problem 2 though.

However smart the mass spectrometer may be, its continuing performance is dependant upon preventing a significant build-up of involatile matrix material in the inlet, at the head of the column and in the ion source. Anatune has solutions for this problem with instruments such as the GERSTEL Automated Liner Exchanger (ALEX) and Automated Tube Exchanger (ATEX), which enable in-volatile material to be retained within an inlet liner that can be replaced automatically.

The new Agilent 7200 will appeal to analysts who need to push the boundaries of what GC-MS can do. Combining this instrument with the GERSTEL MPS and its battery of sample handling options, they will have great versatility and terrific problem solving capabilities. We believe this is a winning combination.

I am very pleased that Agilent Technology’s Ken Brady (GC/MS Product Specialist) has accepted out invitation to speak at out conferences; “Automation in the Chromatography Laboratory” at Hazlewood Castle (near Leeds) and Down Hall (near Stansted Airport) in early June.

Ken will be presenting a talk on the Agilent 7200 entitled: Improving Confidence and Discovering Unknowns by Applying High Resolution Accurate Mass (HRAM) to GC/MS Analysis.

If you would like to attend one of these events, then contact us by phone on 01223 279210 or by email on