Mass Spectrometry Facility, Department of Chemistry University of Birmingham
Q: WHAT IS THE FOCUS OF YOUR LAB’S RESEARCH?
A: We provide our expertise, combining chromatography and mass spectrometry, as well as other Analytical techniques within the Facility. This facilitates and assists in the characterization of compounds synthesized in the Chemistry Department and a number of other departments within the University of Birmingham in addition to work for industrial collaborators.
Q: WHAT WAS YOUR PREVIOUS WORK FLOW OR CHALLENGES?
A: We needed a system capable of analysing reaction mixtures to assist in the identification of compounds of interest with minimal sample isolation required and provide a relatively quick identification of the compounds. The Advion TLC-MS has fully met these requirements, in terms of the ease of use as a walk-up instrument. This has greatly assisted in providing separation conditions in purification method development, as well as, a useful tool in simple reaction monitoring. The system has enabled us to directly obtain good quality data from complex mixtures of compounds. This has been of great benefit to research students across Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry and Pharmacology Departments who have all used the Advion TLC-MS. The major advantage of the Advion TLC-MS is the ability for the users to visualise the spot on the TLC that is being analysed by the mass spectrometer. If the sample requires further clean-up, the TLC conditions provide the initial starting point for upscaling purification using preparative columns.
Q: WHY DID YOU INCORPORATE THE EXPRESSION CMS INTO YOUR LABORATORY?
A: The Advion TLC-MS system is setup using an HPLC pump plumbed directly into the TLC sampler which is then plumbed back through the HPLC autosampler and finally into the Advion expression CMS. This setup has benefitted users to simply run a TLC and perform the MS analysis which takes just a few minutes and they have a lot of useful information about their reaction, product identity, impurities etc. The HPLC autosampler act as a method of directly delivering fractions collected from preparative HPLC allowing the users to quickly identify the fraction of interest. The feedback we have had is that by using the Advion TLC-MS the users are now spending significantly more time running reactions, increasing research output by spending less time isolating and characterizing each component in their reaction mixtures.