IonSense, Inc
 April 2012   
What's New with DART? 
The latest developments and news on DART® Mass Spectrometry 

We have opened registration for our Annual DART Users Forum at ASMS in Vancouver, and we look forward to showcasing the latest in applications and technology.  Last year was sold out so be sure to register early.

We also have 2 special offers on OpenSpot Sources now through May.  This is a good chance to bring rapid, simple analysis in to your lab.

We are now supplying DART source for Shimadzu LC/MS instruments and have some nice data to share.

Finally a couple recent publications are highlighted.

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


BM signature

Brian Musselman
President and CEO
IonSense, Inc.
   Annual DART Users Forum - Register Now   

With ASMS fast approaching, we want to let you know about our Annual DART Forum in Vancouver May 22.  Please join us to hear exciting applications in food safety, forensics, chemical analysis, and security.  We will be presenting the latest new developments from IonSense as well.


IonSense DART Users Forum


Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, Room 217-219 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 from 6:45 AM to 8:15 AM (PT)


Just click here to register>   Eventbrite - IonSense DART Users Forum 






Act Now for OpenSpot Mass Spectrometry Deals

We are have special offers for our DART community this Spring for our OpenSpot Mass Spectrometry Sources.  These sources are bringing a new level of simplicity and speed to the analysis of samples in food safety, forensics and chemical analysis.

From now through the end of May, you can test drive an ID-CUBE™
We will ship you an ID-CUBE Source with 100 OpenSpot Sample Cards for you to evaluate its performance.  Operate the source for a day or up to a week and see how it can rapidly answer your questions on sample ID, contaminant detection, or purity assessment.  The source is easy to install in just a few minutes. Please contact us for details by using with ID-CUBE DEMO in the subject line, as there are some system requirements that we need to know.  This demo source is currently available for Thermo IonMax as well as LCQ, and LTQ instruments, and will be available for Waters XEVO and Aglient LC/MS systems shortly.

DART-SVP users:  Evaluate OpenSpot Mass Spectrometry - enjoy a low cost means to acquire it!  
Add OpenSpot Technology to your analytical arsenal.  Since the OpenSpot Module is designed to fit your DART-SVP you can examine the benefits of easy sample prep and fast, reproducible DART analysis.  Just email your request to  with OS-Module in the subject line.  Along with the module we will send you 100 OpenSpot Sample Cards for your evaluation.  If you decide to keep the OS-Module, you only need to purchase an additional 2000 OpenSpot Sample Cards during the next 6 months to keep it at no charge.

OpenSpot Sample Cards are the perfect way to transport samples from user labs to yours without the expense of bottles, labels, and solvents that just end up cluttering your lab and costing thousands to dispose.  Get the OS-Module and see how easy getting answers can be.

  Click the images below for details on the sources.

Get Answers NOW with OpenSpot Technology

Contact us at
or (781) 484-1043 

DART Now on Shimadzu  
We are pleased to announce that DART sources now are available for Shimadzu 2020 LC/MS Systems.  We have obtained some very nice data with the DART-2020 and have some examples here.

Standard samples of 11 pharmaceutical compounds dissolved in DMSO were spotted onto the transmission DART metal mesh and directly analyzed by DART & LCMS-2020 system using the high-speed scanning/high-speed polarity switching.  The loop time for high-speed polarity switching/ultra high-speed scanning was less than 1 second.

Here you can see the benefits of rapidly scanning in both modes as some compounds respond well in positive, while others prefer negative.

Here is the summary of the 11 compounds that were analyzed.

We would like to thank our colleagues at AMR, Inc. for this work. 

Recent DART Publications

Rapid identification of synthetic cannabinoids in herbal samples via direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry

Rabi A. Musah, Marek A. Domin, Maureen A. Walling, Jason R. E. Shepard, Department of Chemistry, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY), Albany, NY, USA, Mass Spectrometry Center, Merkert Chemistry Center, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA

Dozens of synthetic cannabinoid analogs purposefully meant to circumvent legal restrictions associated with controlled substances continue to be manufactured and promoted as producing 'legal highs'. These designer drugs are difficult to identify in conventional drug screens not only because routine protocols have not been developed for their detection, but also because their association with complex plant matrices during manufacture generally requires labor-intensive extraction and sample preparation for analysis. To address this new and important challenge in forensic chemistry, Direct Analysis in Real Time Mass Spectrometry (DART-MS) is applied to the analysis of these designer drugs.
DART-MS was employed to sample synthetic cannabinoids directly on botanical matrices. The ambient ionization method associated with DART-MS permitted the analysis of solid herbal samples directly, without the need for extraction or sample preparation. The high mass resolution time-of-flight analyzer allowed identification of these substances despite their presence within a complex matrix and enabled differentiation of closely related analogs.
DART-MS was performed to rapidly identify the synthetic cannabinoids AM-251 and JWH-015. For each cannabinoid, three hundred micrograms of material was easily detected within an excess of background matrix by mass.
New variations of herbal blends containing a wide range of base components and laced with synthetic cannabinoids are being produced, making their presence difficult to track by conventional methods. DART-MS permits rapid identification of trace synthetic cannabinoids within complex biological matrices, with excellent sensitivity and specificity compared with standard methods.

E. S. Chernetsova, R. A. Abramovich and I. A. Revel'skii, State Higher Professional Educational Institution Russian University of the Friendship of the Peoples, Moscow, Russia, M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia   


The possibility of using the DART mass spectrometry method for rapid analysis of soft medicinal formulations is considered. Studies of "tetracycline", "Sintomycin Liniment", and "Levomecol" creams and suppositories based on hard fat were studied. The possibility of using this method for the rapid screening of medicinal formulations in search of counterfeits is discussed. This is the first report of the analysis of suppositories using DART mass spectrometry.

Evaluating a direct swabbing method for screening pesticides on fruit and vegetable surfaces using direct analysis in real time (DART) coupled to an Exactive benchtop orbitrap mass spectrometer 

        Elizabeth Crawford, Brian Musselman,  IonSense, Inc, Saugus, MA 01906, USA

Rapid screening of pesticides present on the surfaces of fruits and vegetables has been facilitated by using a Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART®) open air surface desorption ionization source coupled to an Exactive® high-resolution accurate mass benchtop orbitrap mass spectrometer. The use of cotton and polyester cleaning swabs to collect and retain pesticides for subsequent open air desorption ionization is demonstrated by sampling the surface of various produce to which solutions of pesticides have been applied at levels 10 and 100 times below the tolerance levels established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). Samples analyzed include cherry tomatoes, oranges, peaches and carrots each chosen for their surface characteristics which include: smooth, pitted, fuzzy, and rough respectively. Results from the direct analysis of fungicides on store-bought oranges are also described. In all cases, the swabs were introduced directly into the heated ionizing gas of the DART source resulting in production of protonated pesticide molecules within seconds of sampling. Operation of the orbitrap mass spectrometer at 25,000 full-width half maximum resolution was sufficient to generate high-quality accurate mass data. Stable external mass calibration eliminated the need for addition of standards typically required for mass calibration, thus allowing multiple analyses to be completed without instrument recalibration.

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About IonSense  
IonSense, Inc. provides OpenSpot Mass Spectrometry™ solutions to the fields of food safety, forensics, drug development, and chemical analysis. They manufacture and develop direct analysis in real time (DART®) 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.