Mass Spectrometry

Tribrid Fusion Orbitraps

The Thermo Tribrid Fusion is a Makarov-trap ("Orbitrap") Fourier-transform Mass Spectrometer (FTMS) capable of resolving power in excess of 350,000 @ m/z400, which was until recently achieved commercially only by ion-cyclotron resonance (ICR) MS. The Fusion instrument is capable of simultaneous, multi-mode ion processing and measurement via two collision/accumulator cells and two mass spectrometers (an Orbitrap and Ion Trap) with the ability to shuttle ions from either collision/accumulator cells to either MS. The strength of the Fusion is the ability to conduct very complex multistage tandem MS experiments, at great speed and extremely high resolution. This particular model is fitted with electron transfer dissociation (ETD) and internal lock-mass capabilities for ultra-stable mass mass reporting. The Fusion is typically combined with the Dionex ion chromatography systems or the Advion Nanomate direct nanoelectrospray sample/ion sources.

  • One instrument is primarily used for direct infusion, especially for lipid analyses (1), carbonyl compounds (2) and amino acids (3). A second Thermo Tribrid Fusion FTMS Orbitrap is interfaced to chromatography, in particular the Dionex ion chromatography system, which can resolve a wide variety of negatively charged ions including phosphorylated intermediates and organic acids (4). The IC system can also interface to the Agilent triple quadrupole ICP-MS (below).
  • A third Orbitrap Lumos was installed June 2018. This instrument features up to 1,000,000 mass resolution and uv photodissociation.

1. Lane, A.N., Fan, T. W-M., Xie, X. Moseley, H.N. & Higashi, R.M. (2009) Stable isotope analysis of lipid biosynthesis by high resolution mass spectrometry and NMR. Anal. Chim. Acta. 651, 201-208

2. Deng, P., Higashi, R.M., Lane, A.N., Bruntz, R.C., Sun, R.C., Raju, R.R., Nant, M.H., Qi, Z., Fan, T. W-M. (2018) Quantification and Identification of Carbonyls Using Chemoselective Tagging and Nanospray FT-MS. Analyst. 143, 311-322

3. Yang, Y., Fan, W. W-M., Lane, A.N. & Higashi, R.M. (2017) Chloroformate Derivatization for Tracing the Fate of Amino Acids in Cells by Multiple Stable Isotope Resolved Metabolomics (mSIRM). Anal. Chim. Acta 976, 63-73

4. Fan, T. W-M., Warmoes, M.O., Sun, Q., Song, H., Turchan-Cholewo, J., Martin, J.T., Mahan, A.L.,Higashi, R.M., Lane, A.N. (2016) Distinctly perturbed metabolic networks underlie differential tumor tissue damages induced by immune modulator b-glucan in a two-case ex vivo non-small cell lung cancer study. CSH Molec. Case Studies J. 2, a000893


An Agilent triple quad ICP MS was installed January 2015. This is an ultra high sensitivity mass spectrometer with high elemental ion selectivity across the periodic table. A Dionex ion chromatography module that resolves negatively charged analytes was installed Fall 2015. This enables speciation of compounds detected by element.