Let mass specs change people's lives QTRAP's past, present and future

SCIEX QTRAP development: using Q3 as a linear ion trap

QTRAP is based on the combined RF/DC (RF/DC voltage) triple quadrupole mass spectrometer (Q1Q2Q3) ion path and the third quadrupole (Q3) is changed to a linear ion trap (LIT). .

In the late 1990s, QTRAP was developed as part of a purely research effort, "Look at the margins of mass spectrometers." The initial idea of this technique was to use the triple quadrupole collision cell (Q2) as a linear ion trap to obtain ion trap traction. However, this method has some technical problems, so SCIEX uses Q3 as a linear ion trap for research. Although the pressure of Q3 is very low and can not achieve the best expectations, Q2 collision cooling is very good, Q3 can capture ions very effectively, so that the linear ion trap effect is very good.

Construction of SCIEX QTRAP

Customer-centric, continuous improvement of QTRAP performance

After several patent applications for key technologies, SCIEX began commercializing the product. QTRAP is a unique technology because it combines all the features of the triple quadrupole platform with a hybrid quadrupole linear ion trap instrument, providing the possibility to switch between the two modes in less than one millisecond. This is important, so you can make an instrument that has both platform functions. Now you can perform two workflows on the same instrument.

The person in charge of SCIEX said: Initially, this project was considered to be very risky, so it took some time to get commercial approval. Fortunately, SCIEX's senior executives are very willing to work hard to bring products to life, so they have commercialized QTRAP products.

During the development of QTRAP, SCIEX developed other aspects of real-time detection and methods to improve the quality of MSMS data. The concept of dynamic background subtraction proposed to improve real-time candidates, as well as the propagation of collision energy (CE that changes during accumulation), was originally developed using QTRAP and has been ported to other instruments.

SCIEX focuses on customer-centric and collects customer feedback on hardware and software performance in a variety of ways, such as visiting selected scientists' labs and scientists working on critical applications. SCIEX deploys six systems at different partner locations, with a focus on two areas of metabolism and proteomics to ensure rapid feedback on instrument control and data processing to the software team.

7 independent QTRAP mass spectrometers help scientists conduct deeper research

The QTRAP instrument combines the functions of a triple quadrupole with a very powerful hybrid quadrupole linear ion trap instrument on a single platform, which is very important in the SCIEX product line.

The original instrument, called QTRAP®, was based on the API 2000TM platform and was subsequently named 4000 QTRAP®, 3200 QTRAP® based on other triple quadrupole platforms, and the naming convention changed, with QTRAP® 5500 (based on TripleQuad 5500) , QTRAP® 6500, QTRAP® 6500+ and QTRAP® 4500. Thus, SCIEX has a total of seven independent QTRAP mass spectra.

In general, QTRAP Mass Spectrometry is a mass spectrometer that combines the perfect combination of triple quadrupole technology with linearly accelerated ion trap technology to meet both quantitative and qualitative analytical requirements. One instrument of QTRAP can realize the functions of two mass spectrometers, and one platform can perform qualitative and quantitative analysis at the same time. QTRAP's unique MRM3 scanning capabilities increase the limit of quantitation and can be used for MIDAS technology processes that target protein analysis. This unique composite mass spectrometer has great potential for publishing articles.

“In all of SCIEX's QTRAP family, my most memorable one is the QTRAP 5500 system,” said Jim Hager.

QTRAP®5500 provides better linear ion trap performance

 The QTRAP 5500 first used curved ion path geometries and first used some additional features in the linear ion trap to provide better linear ion trap performance. The curved ion path is a major change in the new QTRAP and TripleQuad mass spectrometry platforms, which makes it a much smaller footprint than before. The QTRAP 5500 also presents some unique challenges from an engineering perspective, including how to make ions follow a nonlinear ion guide and how to apply an effective axial magnetic field to reduce noise. The improvement in linear ion trap performance is to achieve better ionic strength and higher resolution by linear ion trap scanning by adjusting the axial DC field and the radial RF field in the extraction region. By cutting the axial DC electric field and the radial RF field of the extraction zone, the linear ion trap scanning is improved, and better ionic strength and higher resolution are obtained.


Such a high performance instrument in which the sensitivity of the linear ion trap scan is consistent with the sensitivity of the MRM measurement. This makes the QTRAP 5500 ideal for MRM-triggered linear ion trap experiments for targeted analysis.

QTRAP is used in a variety of studies

QTRAP has the ability to collect high sensitivity MSMS data at levels comparable to those commonly used for quantitative MRM. Since the system can switch between the two modes of operation in milliseconds, the compound of interest can be screened in a selective matrix (MRM) in a complex matrix and an MSMS confirmation (trap scan) can be obtained for library validation or Structure Characterization.

QTRAP combines the triple quadrupole capability with a very powerful hybrid quadrupole linear ion trap instrument on a single platform that can be used for targeted analysis and validation using MRM triggered linear ion trap scanning and library matching.

QTRAP provides a unique platform for high sensitivity quantification through MRM and the benefits of high sensitivity MSMS analysis in trap mode. To some extent, QTRAP is the first system to combine quantitative and qualitative analysis. Prior to QTRAP, it was (and still is) a challenge to discover related compounds in complex matrices. By relying on MRM, in some cases predicting MRM combinations, the user can quantify and confirm the presence of analytes of interest. The QTRAP mass spectrometer provides the ability to focus on the detection of low levels of metabolites in complex matrices for forensic applications and quantitative analysis of peptidases (MRM treatments). Scientists have used SCIEX's QTRAP products to conduct a variety of research and published several research results, such as:

1. Complete mass spectrum of the yeast proteome for quantitative trait analysis: P. Picottietal., Nature, 2013 (264) 266-270 "Acomplete mass-spectrometric map of the yeast proteome applied to quantitative trait analysis";

2. Rapid hair-based analysis for a variety of drugs in forensics and stimulants: Shahetal., ChemCent. J., 2014 (8) 73 "Hair-based rapid analyses for multiple drugs in for ensics and doping : application of dynamic Multiple reaction monitoring with LC-MS/MS”;

3. Overcoming the complexity of biological fluid proteins, performing targeted mass spectrometry detection and quantification of protein biomarkers by MRM3: [J.Jeudy et al., Anal Bioanal. Chem., 2014 (406) 1193-1200, "Over coming biofluid protein flexible during targeted Masss pectrometry detection and quantification of protein biomarkers by MRM cubed (MRM3).

QTRAP: Let mass specs change everyone's life

Hybrid quadrupole systems inherently provide superior sensitivity and detection limits, so continue to develop QTRAP, providing the same MSMS sensitivity to confirm that species detection is critical. Another aspect of QTRAP that has proven to be successful is the ability to execute MRM3 in order to go beyond traditional MRM and further increase selectivity. This combines two stages of MSMS fragmentation to improve selectivity and sensitivity and has been successfully used for the analysis of digested plasma intermediate polypeptides.

Jim Hager and Yves Le Blanc said that the main driving force behind the QTRAP instrument in the future is the increase in sensitivity, speed and dynamic range. SCIEX has published an article proving to reduce the effects of space charge above an order of magnitude. This means that a larger dynamic range of linear ion trap scanning can be achieved. The speed improvement can be eliminated by shortening the time of linear ion trap scanning or shortening the period when the linear ion trap is not scanned. SCIEX is actively working to increase these speeds, and has been working hard to improve the sensitivity of linear ion trap scanning, using an auxiliary electric field. The "promoting" ions flow from the linear ion trap to the detector.

On the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the birth of QTRAP, SCIEX China also held a series of commemorative events, such as the QTRAP Advanced Training Course on Drug Metabolism Research held on May 8 (see: Helping Drug Metabolism Research Application SCIEX to Host QTRAP Application) The advanced training course is one of the important ones, and there are also grand three-day celebrations in the later period. Through these activities, SCIEX hopes to help users better use the QTRAP series of mass spectrometry products together, "to let mass specs change everyone's life."

Introduction to James W. Hager

Jim received his Ph.D. from the Department of Physical Chemistry at the University of Toronto in 1987 and joined SCIEX as a research scientist. In addition to his work in the research department, he also works on product development and product definition. His current research area is linear ion trap mass spectrometry. Thanks to QTRAP technology-related work, Jim won the 2014 Fred P. Lossing Mass Spectrometry Outstanding Contribution Award in Canada. His work includes 50 reference publications and 24 US patents that have been obtained.

Introduction to YvesLe Blanc

Dr. Yves Le Blanc is a Senior Research Scientist in the SCIEX Applied Research Group. His main area of interest is based on the application of hybrid MS technology in qualitative and quantitative analysis in various fields. Le Blanc has been a manager of Phoenix International LC-MSMS for 2 years and is therefore interested in quantitative analysis. Le Blanc serves as an application chemist, laboratory manager, and technical marketing executive at SCIEX. Since joining SCIEX in 1995, he has been directly involved in the development and marketing of API 3000, API 4000, QTRAP systems, and TripleTOF 5600 and SelexION. In recent years, his research interests have focused on the ability to obtain selectivity in peptide analysis by extending the capabilities of existing systems.

Introduction to SCIEX

SCIEX helps scientists and laboratory analysts find solutions to overcome the complex analytical challenges they face and improve the world we live in. With its leading position in the capillary electrophoresis and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry industry and its professional service and support, the company has become a trusted partner to tens of thousands of scientists and laboratory analysts worldwide, mainly engaged in basic research and pharmaceuticals. Discovery and development, food and environmental testing, forensic science and clinical research.

With more than 40 years of innovation history, SCIEX excels at developing reliable, sensitive and intuitive solutions by listening to customers and understanding the changing needs of its customers, constantly redefining the results that conventional and complex analytics can achieve. For more information, please visit sciex.com.cn.

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