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

We have some new data that we recently presented at the ASMS meeting and links to those presentations are below on topics from toothpaste to wine.

This July we are having a Summer Sale - Two DART SVP sources that have been used in our laboratory are being offered at a significant discount.  Contact Susan Ryan in Sales for details.  Her email is

Additionally there is a new database of DART spectra available for download, and there are a number of interesting new DART publications.

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


BM signature

Brian Musselman
President and CEO
IonSense, Inc.
New Data on Toothpaste, Supplements, Drugs, and Wine



Characterizing Toothpastes: Direct Fingerprinting of Key Volatile Flavor and Marker Non-volatile Compounds by DART Q-TOF MS  


A fast (seconds per sample) MS fingerprinting method was developed to monitor volatile and non-volatile marker compounds in commercial dentifrice (toothpaste) products and in human breath after brushing.  Direct volatiles analysis by DART Q-TOF MS and MS/MS provides a rapid flavor fingerprint for product authenticity and quality control without any sample pre-treatment.  High resolution and accurate mass distinguishes isobaric, but not geometric isomeric compounds for which GC-MS is needed.  In-vivo sampling (breath analysis) yields instantaneous real time data








Three different solid phase extraction probes were evaluated for their ability to remove unwanted background and enhance analyte signals in dieteray supplements as well as narcotics in urine.  All three extraction techniques removed the sugars from the supplements.  SPME LC probes were the easiest to use and were sampled directly.  MEPS syringe provided the most information rich data.  The SPME LC probes successfully isolated drugs from urine and permit direct desorption ionization.  The Black Cohosh fingerprint spectrum at the right was acquired on the DART GSX. 






Rapid Screening & Quantitative Analysis of Off-flavor Phenolic Compounds by DART Mass Spectrometry 


A method was developed for the rapid determination of Brettanomyces in grape wines. Using desorption ionization of Gerstel Twister sorptive stir bars, samples are screened for volatile phenolic compounds at low levels (10 - 50 ppb range) with DART at a rate of 3 minutes per sample analysis.  The quantitative results obtained with this new DART-MS/MS method are very similar to those obtained by classic GC-MS analysis. 








DART on Your GC/MS -- Test Your Samples on the NEW DART GSX

The DART GSX System

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 or want to learn about the DART GSX Early Access Program, please let us know




NEW DART Forensics Database for Download


There is a new update available on the NIST web site, The DART Forensics Library.  It is composed of 3,217 positive ion DART spectra of 828 substances. The data is provided by Bob Steiner, Principal Forensic Scientist of Virginia Department of Forensic Science, Richmond, VA.


Click here to go to the site for downloading the database.


Thanks to Matt Curtis of Univ. of the Pacific for bringing this to our attention. 



Recent DART Publications


Characterizations of the Extracts from Geting Bituminous Coal by Spectrometries  


Da-Ling Shi , Xian-Yong Wei, Xing Fan , Zhi-Min Zong , Bo Chen , Yun-Peng Zhao , Yu-Gao Wang , and Jing-Pei Cao
Key Laboratory of Coal Processing and Efficient Utilization (Ministry of Education), China University of Mining & Technology, Xuzhou 221116, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China


Geting bituminous coal (GBC) was sequentially extracted with petroleum ether, carbon disulfide (CDS), methanol, acetone, and isometric CDS/acetone mixed solvent at room temperature to afford extracts 1-5 (E1-E5) and residue. Detailed characterizations of the extracts were performed with a gas chromatography/mass spectrometer (GC/MS), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer, and direct analysis in real-time ionization source (DARTIS) coupled to an ion-trap mass spectrometer (ITMS). GBC and its residue were also analyzed with the FTIR spectrometer. Particle sizes of the residue were significantly reduced compared to those of GBC according to the observation with a scanning electron microscope. Arenes with 1-4 rings and more condensed arenes were enriched into E1 and E2, respectively, while more heteroatom-containing organic species were detected in other extracts, especially in E3 and E4 according to GC/MS analysis. The extracts, especially E1-E4, contain more aliphatic moieties and less aromatic moieties compared to GBC and its residue based on FTIR analysis. DARTIS/ITMS proved to be a powerful tool for analyzing thermally labile and/or involatile species, which are difficult to be identified with GC/MS, in the extracts.

Hayet Djelala, Carole Cornéeb, Ronan Tartivelc, Olivier Lavastrec, Abdeltif Amraned
Ecole des Métiers de l'Environnement, Campus de Ker Lann, 35170 Bruz, France, CITRENNES Platform, Université de Rennes 1, Campus de Beaulieu, CS 74205, 35042 Rennes Cedex, France, Université de Rennes 1, Science Chimiques de Rennes , UMR UR1-CNRS 6226, Groupe Matière Condensé et Systèmes Actifs, Campus de Beaulieu, CS 74205, 35042 Rennes Cedex, France, Université Rennes 1, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes, CNRS, UMR 6226, Avenue du Général Leclerc, CS 50837, 35708 Rennes Cedex 7, France 


Advanced oxidation processes are efficient for the removal of recalcitrant compounds, like azo-dyes. However, the intermediates produced during their degradation can be more toxic than the parent compounds. Improving the knowledge concerning the degradation pathways may be therefore helpful to optimize the process. In this aim, HPTLC and Direct Analysis in Real Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry DART-TOF-MS were considered and applied to analyze the sono-oxidation of an azo dye, methyl red sodium salt (MRSS) as a model compound. Initial and final UV-Vis spectra showed a clear disappearance of the maximum absorption peak, but shows limit since it cannot allow by-products identification. MRSS degradation was confirmed by HPTLC, which also confirmed that MRSS degradation was mainly due to oxidation, while in the considered experimental conditions the sonication effect appeared negligible. Three major peaks were observed by DART-TOF-MS after MRSS oxidation, m/z=139.002, m/z=223.073 and m/z=279.137, Relative abundance of m/z=139.002, which was much higher after oxidation, tends to prove that a large proportion of initial oxydized MRSS was fragmented. The MRSS m/z = 270.078. The coupling of HPTLC and DART-TOF-MS may be subsequently considered to identify the oxidation reaction products.


Laura M. Sanchez, Matthew E. Curtis, Bianca E. Bracamonte, Kenji L. Kurita, Gabriel Navarro, O. David Sparkman, and Roger G. Linington
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, California 95064, United States, and Pacific Mass Spectrometry Facility, Department of Chemistry, College of the Pacific, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California 95211, United States  

Analysis of substrates directly on solid phase resins without the need for separate cleavage conditions remains an outstanding challenge in the field of solid phase synthesis. We now present the first example of simultaneous cleavage and mass spectrometric analysis of peptides from solid supports using direct analysis in real time (DART) mass spectrometry. We have shown that this method is compatible with a diverse array of solid phase resins and is suitable for analysis of both peptides and organic substrates.


Karl Frasera, Geoff A. Lanea, Don E. Ottera, Scott J. Harrisona, Siew-Young Quekb, Yacine Hemarb, Susanne Rasmussena
AgResearch, Private Bag 11008, Tennent Drive, Palmerston North 4410, New Zealand, School of Chemical Sciences, Auckland University, Auckland 1142, New Zealand  

Factors such as fermentation methods, geographical origin and season can affect the biochemical composition of tea leaves (Camellia sinensis L.). In this study, the biochemical composition of oolong tea during the manufacturing and fermentation process was studied using a non-targeted method utilising ambient ionisation with a direct analysis in real time (DART) ion source and mass spectrometry (MS). Caffeine dominated the positive ionisation spectra throughout the manufacturing process, while the negative ion spectra collected during manufacturing were rich in ions likely to be surface lipids. Correlation analyses on the spectra revealed two volatile compounds tentatively identified as indole and geranic acid, along with ammonium and caffeine clusters/adducts with geranic acid that increased in concentration during the fermentation stages of the process. The tentative identifications were assigned using a combination of DART-ion-trap MSn and DART-accurate mass MS1 and MS2 on tea samples and standard compounds. This study highlights the potential of DART-MS to rapidly monitor the progress of complex manufacturing processes such as tea fermentation.


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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.