In tandem mass spectrometers, or MS-MS, a second MS is linked to the first, resulting in a powerful system for ion structure determination and analysis of complex molecules.
How Do Tandem Mass Spectrometers Work?
Tandem mass spectrometers can be used alone or combined with GC or LC systems. In classic MS-MS, which includes the use of an ion trap, the ions selected in stage 1 undergo fragmentation (usually CID), and the resulting daughter ions are analyzed in stage 2. In tandem MS-MS in space, rather than time, triple-stage quadrupoles (QqQ) or Q-TOF are used, with the collision cell located between the quadrupole and TOF analyzers. Systems are also available that combine ion trap’s structural power and quadrupole’s quantitative accuracy.
What Are Tandem Mass Spectrometers Used For?
The structural information provided by MS-MS systems is used in:
- Drug discovery,
- Environmental testing,
- Clinical testing, especially forensic analyses and newborn disease screening.
Triple-quad MS are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry, and tandem TOF is a valuable tool in proteomics.
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