Updated on 25 October 2013
Agilent's liquid chromatography/MS devices are a trend setter
Liquid chromatography (LC)/MS is widely used for peptide and glycoprotein mapping and in other protocols that require very high sensitivity and selectivity. In 2005, the company achieved a breakthrough in LC-MS with the launch of the first high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-chip/mass spectrometry system, which significantly increased the speed, ease and productivity in proteomics and glycomics research.
Agilent later added its proprietary Ion Implantation (II) technology to the second generation HPLC-Chips, extending life expectancy beyond 1,000 injections, thus helping the biotech firms to benefit from lower cost-per-experiment and enhanced chip-to-chip and run-to-run reproducibility.
In 2010 and 2011, the company improved the process of atmospheric pressure ion sampling with the launch of the 6490 Triple Quadrupole LC/MS System and the 6550 Quadrupole Time-of-Flight LC/MS system with iFunnel technology, driving huge sensitivity gains for most applications. This new system not only had a 25 percent smaller footprint than previous models, but also boasted a sensitivity specification that was 10 times higher than previous models.
Inductively Coupled Plasma/MS is the new future
Back in the 1990s, the inductively coupled plasma (ICP)/MS market was driven by non-biotechnology sectors such as the semiconductor as well as the environment and geology sectors to detect metals and atoms. ICP/MS is now used in forensics, pharmaceutical, life sciences and more recently, nanotechnology studies. In view of this shift in industry focus, Agilent Technologies entered into various research collaborations to study the impact of metals on biological systems, such as the role of metal compounds as predictors of stroke damage. The company partnered with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to establish a research facility aimed at developing new methods of imaging small amounts of metals, trace elements and other elements in tissues. This new field of study is termed ‘metallomics' and bioelemental imaging.
Agilent Technologies' continued innovation has been widely recognized by the biotechnology, academic research and chemistry community. The company's 8800 ICP-QQQ was recently named the Best New Spectroscopy Product in the 2012 Scientists' Choice Awards. Today, the 8800 ICP-QQQ is the only instrument of its kind that provides superior performance, sensitivity and flexibility when compared with single quadrupole ICP/MS technology, delivering consistent and reliable results even when sample composition is complex or variable.