IonSense, Inc
  April 2011  
What's New with DART? 
The latest developments and news on DART Mass Spectrometry


We have been investigating a serious problem that has crept into the products that many of you consume on a regular basis.  Some of the dietary supplements available today have been purposely contaminated with pharmaceutical drugs.  We are using DART to develop a rapid screening procedure to find the bad stuff.

Going to ASMS? -  We've got our ASMS User Forum on Tuesday morning, June 7. Seating is limited so sign up now to be sure of seeing the latest in DART.

For the oil chemists, we will be a the AOCS Annual meeting in early May.

Please have a look and contact me if you have any questions or comments. Thanks.


Brian Musselman
President and CEO
IonSense, Inc.
Adulterated Dietary Supplements?  Just ask DART  

In collaboration with James Neal-Kababick, Flora Research Laboratories

With all the interest from consumers in dietary supplements, it didn't take long for the bad guys to figure out how to exploit this. The FDA has also taken notice and is cracking down on shoddy suppliers, making this one of their highest priorities.

One of the biggest problems with these supplements is the addition of actual prescription drugs or clandestine analogues (active pharmaceutical ingredients or "API's") in order to give the "herbal" a certain positive effect. The most abused are the weight loss and ED "male virility" supplements.

We have started a collaboration with Flora Research Laboratories in Oregon to examine how DART can rapidly tell if the supplement is a real supplement or if it contains a clandestine pharmaceutical ingredient. We analyzed a variety of known contaminated herbal supplements to asses DART's ability, and were pleased with the result.

A melting point tube was dipped in the herbal powders and then placed in front of the DART source on an LCQ. A 5-10 second acquisition is all it took to get the answer compared to the half hour sample prep and half hour run time currently used. So here DART is making a 1 hour experiment into a ten second experiment. Below are two examples of the herbal supplements that were tainted with active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Supplement with Sibutramine

This Figure shows the DART spectrum of an allegedly all natural Herbal Supplement for weight loss. Sibutramine is a weight loss drug that was withdrawn from the market because of cardiovascular risk and is also a DEA controlled substance, making this product not only illegal under FDA regulations but DEA too!

Supplement with ED drug

This spectrum of an herbal supplement for "male enhancement" clearly shows the presence of tadalafil and sildenafil (the active ingredient in Cialis and Viagra respectively).  The tadalafil is detectable despite being present at less than 1% of the Sildenifil.

So before you take your favorite supplement, be sure to read the FDA's warning:

"Remember, FDA cannot test all products on the market that contain potentially harmful hidden ingredients. Enforcement actions and consumer advisories for tainted products only cover a small fraction of the tainted over-the-counter products on the market."

We will be continuing the evaluation of DART for this problem so stay tuned for more developments. In the meantime - Caveat Emptor          

If you'd like more info on this, just send me a note.

DART at ASMS - Register Now

We will be having our annual ASMS DART Users Forum and registration is now open.  This year we will be hosting a Breakfast Symposium in the Convention Center. 

The Annual DART Users Forum 


Tuesday, June 7 at 7:00-8:30am

Colorado Convention Center, Room #603 


Register for IonSense DART Users Forum in Denver, CO  on Eventbrite

See the latest developments in the fields of

      • Food safety
      • Forensics
      • Chemical analysis

DART at American Oil Chemists' Society - AOCS

We will be presenting our latest results on the Characterization of Food Oils at the upcoming 102nd AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo, May 1-4 in Cincinnati.  The poster shows how DART can rapidly determine the quality and type of oil, as well as see if the oil has been blended with inferior grades.

If you are going to the meeting, please stop by.  Also if you'd like a copy of the poster, please send me a note



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About IonSense  
IonSense, Inc. provides open-air mass spectrometry solutions to the fields of food safety, forensics, drug development, and chemical analysis. They manufacture and develop direct analysis in real time (DARTŪ) technology licensed from JEOL USA, Inc. and atmospheric solids analysis probe (ASAP™) licensed from M&M Consulting.

DART and ASAP Sources are available for most commercial LC/MS systems.  Look here to see if your system is DART-ready.  And  check here to see if your system is ASAP-ready.