State-of-the-art mass spectrometry techniques and a great deal of experiences in the field of desorption/ionisation source instrumentations as well as multidimensional electrophoresis mark the the bio and polymer analytics at the TU Wien. The research group "Bioanalytics, opens in new window" headed by Univ.Prof. R. Birner-Gruenberger, opens an external URL in a new window is dedicated to the global analysis of protein function with a special focus on lipid metabolism. The research group "Mass Spectrometric Bio- und Polymer Analysis, opens in new window" under the direction of Univ.Prof. M. Marchetti-Deschmann, opens an external URL in a new window deals with metabolomics and bioprocess analysis, as well as MS and electrophoresis analysis of proteins, lipids, glycoconjugates and nanoparticles such as viruses as well as polymers and complexes and maintains a research laboratory of Simadzu.

Mass Spectrometry Imaging & Spray based Mass Spectrometry

The Synapt HDMS G2 is a high resolution mass spectrometer equipped with a nanoESI, a MALDI and a DESI source. Built as a Q-TOF, the device enables monoisotopic resolution over a mass range from small molecules to high molecular weight analytes (e.g. proteins) by accurate mass measurement. 

Furthermore the possibility of ion mobility separation leads to structural information of the analyte. Within this process ions are separated based on their shape (lipid vs. peptide with same m/z).

The UltrafleXtreme is a MALDI-TOF/TOF device, equipped with a 2000 Hz smartbeam laser, enabling high speed data acquisition. The high mass resolution over a very broad mass range in combination with a high mass accuracy facilitates very flexible analytical approaches. Furthermore laser diameter focuses down to 10 µm without loosing spectral quality and signal intensity.

The HTCplus is also an ion trap mass spectrometer (IT-MS) which is by default equipped with an orthogonal electrospray ion trap (ESI). Compared to the Esquire 3000plus this instrument is characterized with a better sensitivity, a greater dynamic range and a faster scan speed.

The instrument is operated with a pulsed dynamic focusing (PDF)-MALDI ion source. This ion source works under atmospheric pressure and is, therefore, a useful supplement to high-vacuum MALDI.

The Esquire 3000plus is an ion trap mass spectrometer (IT-MS) which is equipped with an orthogonal electrospray ion trap (ESI). If needed the ion source can be exchanged with an off-line nano electro spay, reducing the amount of sample needed to 1-2 µL.

Adjustment of the needle is done with the help of a built-in camera which allows detailed observation of the spay process. The mass range of the analyzer, the ion trap, is 3 000 m/z. It delivers well resolved spectra throughout the entire mass range.

The Chemical Inkjet Printer ChIP-1000 can be used to deposit up to picoliter quantities (in single and multi-drop processes) of aqueous solutions on surfaces. Individually predefined surfaces can thus be precisely coated with a MALDI matrix for imaging mass spectrometry or spatial-defined surface chemistry can be performed. Internal contamination is avoided by separate reservoirs. Mechanically, lateral resolution is limited to ≥ 10 µm by the stepping motor of the sample holder. However, surface printing with multiple repetition of the print process over the specified area is possible.

Molecular weights of biopolymers are nowadays mostly determined by mass spectrometry. This however requires bringing them into high-vacuum which might bias the molecular weight measurement.

Gas-Phase Electrophoretic Molecular Mobility Analysis (GEMMA) is an alternative way of molecular weight detection. Electrophoretic mobilities are measured at ambient pressure with an electrospray/differential mobility analyzer. By comparing the electrophoretic mobility diameters with those of well-defined macro molecules, molecular weight determination is possible.


Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption

The Axima CFRplus is a very sensitive high vacuum MALDI mass spectrometer capable of analysing analytes at even very low concentrations. The curved field reflectron (CFR) enables effcient generation of post source decay (PSD) mass spectra mandatory for identifying analytes based on their fragmentation pattern. Working in continuous or  pulsed mode with a 337 nm N2 laser, the device has furthermore the possibility to easily adapt the acceleration voltage (linear + 30 kV/- 20 kV, Reflektron + 25 kV/- 20 kV). Additionaly the CFRplus is equipped with a CovalX detector enabling the investigation of analytes in the MDa mass range.

Similar to the AXIMA CFRplus the Axima TOF2 is also a MALDI time of flight mass spectrometer working under high vacuum conditions and equipped with a UV laser.

However, the TOF2 is additionally featured with a collision cell enabling high energy collision (20 keV) of the analyte molecules with the collision gas. The induced fragment ions provide characteristic information regarding the analyte structure enabling identification of unknown compounds.

The Typhoon FLA 9000 and FLA 9500 is a versatile laser scanner for biomolecular imaging applications including sensitive and quantitative measurements of radioisotopic labels by storage phosphor, chemifluorescent Western blots, and multiplex fluorescence as well as digitization of colorimetric stains (e.g., Coomassie Blue and silver-stained gels). The system supports both 2-D Difference Gel Electrophoresis (DIGE) and Amersham Western blotting systems.

Metabolomics & Bioprocess Analysis

Development laboratory, opens an external URL in a new window in cooperation with the company Shimadzu

The TQ8040 is an electron impact ion triple quadrupole mass spectrometer coupled to a gas chromatograph for the measurement of volatile analytes or components that are sufficiently volatile after derivatization. With appropriate method development, in a single analysis > 30,000 components can be measured in the smallest amounts (ppt) (scan speed: 20,000 u / s). Unique is the ability to apply scans and multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) modes simultaneously.

Non-volatile biomolecules are separated by ultrahigh-pressure or ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) and then recorded in an ESI triple-quadrupole mass spectrometer. The ion-optical system is characterized by two "multi-pole RF ion guides" for high sensitivity and measuring speed (15,000 rpm). The high fragmentation efficiency in the collision cell allows the development of sensitive high-throughput (MRM) methods that detect up to 500 components in an analysis with very low detection limits.