January 2017

LGC scientists support coordination of second inter-laboratory study to assess performance of ambient ionisation

Ambient ionisation can be used to rapidly analyse samples or objects in their native state without the need for sample preparation, for example to directly analyse pharmaceutical drugs or detect explosives. With the recent growth and availability of commercial direct ambient ionisation sources, these techniques have been adapted across a wide range of industries, including healthcare, forensics, and security.

There are significant measurement challenges with this type of technology. The Innovation Team, Organic Analysis, led by Chris Hopley is addressing these challenges through our role as the National Measurement Laboratory. Based on his expertise in this field, Chris is also a member of the committee of the British Mass Spectrometry Society (BMSS) Special Interest Group on Ambient Ionisation and led an inter-laboratory study in 2015 to assess the performance of direct ambient ionisation sources over several application areas.

Following on from this first successful investigation a second study, launched at the BMSS Ambient Ionisation Meeting at Keele University last week, will focus on robustness and potential matrix effects across a diverse range of compounds. It has been designed to require no more than a few hours work over a three day period, with samples shipped in the early part of 2017 and results of the study to be reported at the annual BMSS meeting in Manchester this September.

For further information, see the introductory slides or contact Chris Hopley directly for further information.