IonSense, Inc
 March 2013
What's New with DART? 
The latest developments and news on DART® Mass Spectrometry 

We are excited to tell you about our new product, the DART® GSX™ System that enables DART on the Agilent GC/MSD instruments.  We just introduced it, and will be showing it at Pittcon in Philadelphia next week so stop by Booth 2411 if you are attending.  More info is below.

We also have some recent data from the AAFS meeting to share as well.  And, of course, there are some interesting new publications on a variety of topics

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


BM signature

Brian Musselman
President and CEO
IonSense, Inc.
The NEW DART GSX System for the Agilent GC/MSD

The DART GSX System

Since the introduction of Direct Ionization in Real Time sources in 2005, only those with LC/MS instruments have been able to take advantage of all the benefits that DART provides.  That is, until now. 


The new DART-GSX System enables rapid screening and characterization of samples on the Agilent GC/MSD, which is widely used in many of your labs 


For details on the GSX, you can download the brochure here 


The DART GSX System can be fitted to one of your existing Agilent GC/MSD instruments or it can be supplied as a complete system with a new or refurbished Agilent GC/MSD.  


If you are interested in having samples run on the demonstration unit in Saugus, please let us know




Rapid Drug Screening with DART on a Modified GC/MSD



We recently presented work on the rapid screening of synthetic cannabinoids as well as drugs of abuse in urine.  The new drug XLR-11 was readily seen from the direct analysis of the neat "incense" while drugs in urine were detected on SPME fibers that were immersed in the urine.


You can view the poster by clicking this link: 


Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) Analysis With a Modified GC/MS System for Rapid Drug Screening   



Recent DART Publications


Newborn screening of phenylketonuria using direct analysis in real time (DART) mass spectrometry  


Chunyan Wang, Hongbin Zhu, Zongwei Cai, Fengrui Song, Zhiqiang Liu, Shuying Li     

Chemical Biology Laboratory & Changchun Center of Mass Spectrometry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, 130022, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100039, China; Department of Chemistry, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong 


Phenylketonuria (PKU) is commonly included in the newborn screening panel of most countries, with various techniques being used for quantification of l-phenylalanine (Phe). To diagnose PKU as early as possible in newborn screening, a rapid and simple method of analysis was developed. Using direct analysis in real time (DART) ionization coupled with triple-quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry (TQ-MS/MS) and with use of a 12 DIP-it tip scanner autosampler in positive ion mode, we analyzed dried blood spot (DBS) samples from PKU newborns. The concentration of Phe was determined using multiple reaction monitoring mode with the nondeuterated internal standard N,N-dimethylphenylalanine. The results of the analysis of DBS samples from newborns indicated that the DART-TQ-MS/MS method is fast, accurate, and reproducible. The results prove that this assay as a newborn screen for PKU can be performed in 18 s per sample for the quantification of Phe in DBS samples. DART-TQ-MS/MS analysis of the Phe concentration in DBS samples allowed us to screen newborns for PKU. This innovative protocol is rapid and can be effectively applied on a routine basis to analyze a large number of samples in PKU newborn screening and PKU patient monitoring.

Robert B. Cody, A. John Dane 

JEOL USA, Inc., 11 Dearborn Road, Peabody, MA, 01960, USA 

Large polarizable n-alkanes (approximately C18 and larger), alcohols, and other nonpolar compounds can be detected as negative ions when sample solutions are injected directly into the sampling orifice of the atmospheric pressure interface of the time-of-flight mass spectrometer with the direct analysis in real time (DART) ion source operating in negative-ion mode. The mass spectra are dominated by peaks corresponding to [M + O2]-. No fragmentation is observed, making this a very soft ionization technique for samples that are otherwise difficult to analyze by DART. Detection limits for cholesterol were determined to be in the low nanogram range.



Marinella Farré, Yolanda Picó, and Damià Barceló
Department of Environmental Chemistry, IDAEA-CSIC, Jordi Girona 18-26, Barcelona 08034, Spain; Food and Environmental Safety Research Group, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Valencia, Avenida Vicent Andrés Estellés s/n, Burjassot 46100, Valencia, Spain; Catalan Institute for Water Research, Emili Grahit, 101, Girona 17003, Spain


Study of xenobiotics present in fruit peel by exposing it (without any pretreatment) to direct analysis in real time coupled to a high-resolution orbitrap mass spectrometer (DART-HRMS) is reported for the first time. Variables such as DART gas heater temperature and pressure, source-to-MS distance, and sample velocity are investigated. The analysis of one sample by DART-MS lasts ca. 1 min, and the benefits of both high-resolution and tandem mass spectrometry to elucidate nontarget or unknown compounds are combined. Identification of postharvest fungicides, antioxidants, and sugars in fruit peel is performed in the positive ion mode. A possible elemental formula is suggested for marker components. The lowest imazalil concentration that could be detected by this system is 1 ng (equivalent to a concentration of ca. 300 μg kg-1), which is well below the maximum residue limit. For oranges and apples, direct peel exposition demonstrated good interday precision (within 20% for any concentration) and proper linearity (R2 ≥ 0.99), with a dynamic range from 1 to 2500 ng for apple. A comparison of the results obtained using the direct peel screening DART-based method is made with those obtained by DART analysis of solvent extracts, as well as those obtained analyzing these extracts by ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography orbitrap mass spectrometry (UHPLC-Orbitrap). The results are in good agreement. Thus, the proposed method proves to be quantitatively accurate with indisputable identification specificity. As an independent method, the approach of direct scanning of peel is of high interest and of potential future within food analysis to guarantee safety, quality, and authenticity.


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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.