October 2016

LGC receives first UK delivery of Agilent 8900 inorganic mass spectrometry instrument

The Inorganic Analysis team at LGC, led by Principal Scientist and Science Fellow Heidi Goenaga-Infante, recently had the first Agilent 8900 mass spectrometry instrument in the UK installed.

This state-of-the-art technology, which combines quadrupole separation with inorganic mass spectrometry (ICP-QQQ-MS), will initially support work on the characterisation and quantification of nanomaterials performed in our role as the UK’s National Measurement Laboratory and Designated Institute for chemical and bio-measurement.

With nanomaterials present in over 1300 commercial products, it is becoming increasingly important to be able to characterise nanomaterials reliably to understand their behaviour in contact with human and the environment. Recent EU recommendation provides a precise definition of a nanomaterial for regulatory purposes (more than half the particles are 1-100 nm in size). This new instrument will allow for more accurate determination of number concentration and size of very complex nanomaterials in this critical range than previously possible, as demonstrated in a recent Technical Note. In this Technical Note researcher Susana Nunez, in collaboration with Agilent, determined the size and particle distribution of gold nanoparticles as small as 10 nm.

As Science Fellow Heidi commented, ”This new technology will allow us to further develop the capabilities required for our National Measurement Laboratory and Designated Institute function to support UK measurement requirements and maintain our world leading position. We are delighted to have the first UK capabilities to measure very fast events generated by e.g. laser ablation of single cells, for detection of single nanoparticles with greater sensitivity and selectivity than achieved with previous ICP-MS instrumentation”

In the future, scientists at LGC will use this instrument to further develop trace inorganic analysis in complex real-world samples and improve inorganic imaging methods for healthcare.