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

We have been busy lately and would like to show you some of our recent developments in applications and hardware.  Also as usual, there are some interesting new publications in a variety of areas.

For our European colleagues, we will be presenting at the European Pesticide Residue Workshop in Vienna next week and will be at the Florida Pesticide Workshop in St.Pete Beach the week of July 15th.

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


BM signature

Brian Musselman
President and CEO
IonSense, Inc.
Recent Development from IonSense


Use of a Combination Direct Analysis in Real Time/Atmospheric Pressure Photoionization (APPI-DART) Ionization System for Motor Oil Analysis
  • DART-based desorption ionization is used to prepare samples for subsequent exposure to high energy photons generated by using an atmospheric pressure photoionization source.
  • Various dopants can be introduced to the APPI region to facilitate ionization. 
  • A variety of hydrocarbon molecules were desorbed as intact molecules by DART and subsequently ionized by the APPI source permitting detection of a wider range of molecules in the complex mixture.

Quantitative Analysis of Carbendazim & other Pesticides in Fruit Juices by Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) Mass Spectrometry   


  • DART-SVP ion source coupled to the API 4000 QTRAP yielded LOD of 2 ppb and LOQ of 15 ppb.
  • The standard curve generated for cardbendazim using the transmission DART method was very good with R2 value 0.9988 across 10 - 5000 ppb.


Enclosed Environment for DART-Enabled Chemical Analysis   



  • Reaction of edible oils with concentrated ammonium hydroxide produces saponified oils in a few seconds.
  • Reactions are easily performed by placing the reagent and sample on the sample screen and using the heating of the screen to catalyze the reaction.



The DART Forum Book, ASMS 2012  


  • See the highlights from the User meeting presentations at ASMS in Vancouver.
Recent DART Publications

Direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry and multivariate data analysis: A novel approach to rapid identification of analytical markers for quality control of traditional Chinese medicine preparation

Shanshan Zenga, Lu Wanga, Teng Chena, Yuefei Wangb, Huanbiao Moc, Haibin Qua,  

Pharmaceutical Informatics Institute, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China, State Key Laboratory of Modern Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 300193, China, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Texas Woman's University, Denton, TX 76204-5888, USA


The paper presents a novel strategy to identify analytical markers of traditional Chinese medicine preparation (TCMP) rapidly via direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry (DART-MS). A commonly used TCMP, Danshen injection, was employed as a model. The optimal analysis conditions were achieved by measuring the contribution of various experimental parameters to the mass spectra. Salvianolic acids and saccharides were simultaneously determined within a single 1-min DART-MS run. Furthermore, spectra of Danshen injections supplied by five manufacturers were processed with principal component analysis (PCA). Obvious clustering was observed in the PCA score plot, and candidate markers were recognized from the contribution plots of PCA. The suitability of potential markers was then confirmed by contrasting with the results of traditional analysis methods. Using this strategy, fructose, glucose, sucrose, protocatechuic aldehyde and salvianolic acid A were rapidly identified as the markers of Danshen injections. The combination of DART-MS with PCA provides a reliable approach to the identification of analytical markers for quality control of TCMP.



The evaluation and implementation of direct analysis in real time quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry for characterization and quantification of geniposide in Re Du Ning Injections


Yan-Jing Li, Zhen-Zhong Wang, Yu-An Bi, Gang Ding, Long-Sheng Sheng, Jian-Ping Qin, Wei Xiao, Jia-Chun Li, Yong-Xiang Wang, Xue Wang.    State Key Lab of New-tech for Chinese Medicine Pharmaceutical Processes, Lianyungang, ChinaJiangsu Kanion Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Nanjing, China, State Key Laboratory of Natural Medicines (China Pharmaceutical University), Nanjing, China


The Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) ionization source coupled with a quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (Q-TOF MS/MS) system has the capability to desorb analytes directly from samples from complex Chinese herbal preparations without sample cleanup or chromatographic separation.


In this work, a method based on DART/Q-TOF MS/MS has been developed for rapid determination of geniposide present in 'Re Du Ning Injections', a Chinese herbal preparation. The method has been evaluated for both qualitative and quantitative analysis of geniposide in Re Du Ning Injections.


Variables including polarity for ion detection, DART gas heater temperature, matrix effect and sample presentation speed were investigated. The quantitative method was validated with respect to linearity, sensitivity, repeatability, precision and accuracy by using both internal and external standards. A comparison of the results obtained using the DART-based method was made with those obtained using a conventional High-Performance Liquid Chromatography/Diode-Array Detector (HPLC/DAD) by analyzing geniposide in four batches of Re Du Ning Injections. 


The DART/Q-TOF MS/MS-based method provides a rapid, efficient and powerful method to analyze compounds from complex Traditional Chinese Medicines with limited sample preparation thus reducing time and complexity of quality control for those materials.



Rapid control of Chinese star anise fruits and teas for neurotoxic anisatin by Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) high resolution mass spectrometry 


Yao Shena, Teris A. van Beeka, Frank W. Claassena, Han Zuilhofa, Bo Chenb, Michel W.F. Nielena,

Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Wageningen University, Dreijenplein 8, 6703 HB Wageningen, The Netherlands, Key Laboratory of Chemical Biology & Traditional Chinese Medicine Research, Ministry of Education, Hunan Normal University, Changsha 410081, China, RIKILT Institute of Food Safety, P.O. Box 230, 6700 AE Wageningen, The Netherlands


After ingestion, products containing Chinese star anise (Illicium verum) contaminated or adulterated with Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum) or other Illicium species, can cause epilepsy, hallucinations, and nausea due to the rare neurotoxic sesquiterpene dilactone anisatin that is present in Japanese star anise. Thus a rapid, simple and unambiguous method for distinguishing between the morphologically similar Chinese star anise and toxic Japanese star anise is important for food safety issues. Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) ambient ionisation coupled with orbitrap high resolution mass spectrometry allowed the recording of mass spectra of anisatin in solid star anise fruits in seconds without any prior sample pretreatment. Spectra could be obtained in both positive ([M+NH4]+ at m/z 346.1496, C15H24NO8) and negative mode ([M−H]− at m/z 327.1074, C15H19O8) and gave the same outcome provided a mass resolution of at least 27,000 is available. The anisatin signal was typically >1000 times larger in Japanese star anise than in Chinese star anise thus allowing an unequivocal qualitative determination. Herbal teas containing star anise fragments too small to be visually recognised, could be analysed by preparing a tea in 6 min and subsequently sampling ∼2 μL of tea on a glass rod. None of the 8 investigated retail teas contained significant quantities of anisatin. Spiking a complex herbal tea containing Chinese star anise with an equally concentrated tea prepared from Japanese star anise provided a linear calibration curve (R2 ≥ 0.995) after normalising on a native constituent of Chinese star anise (standard addition method). This showed that adulteration down to 1% (w/w) is still measurable. Compared with existing PCR, TLC, GC-MS and HPLC-ESI-MS/MS procedures, the proposed DART-HRMS procedure is faster and simpler and moreover measures the actual biotoxin.





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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.