Waters’ New SELECT SERIES MRT Mass Spec Platform Delivers Speedy High-Quality Resolution

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In the Lab eNewsletter, Pharmaceutical Technology's In the Lab eNewsletter 07-07-2021, Volume 16, Issue 7

The new multi reflecting time-of-flight mass spectrometry platform from Waters delivers highest quality resolution at fast speeds.

The new Waters SELECT SERIES multi reflecting time-of-flight (MRT) mass spectrometry platform, launched in June 2021, offers high-quality resolution at fast speeds. The instrument combines MRT technology with both enhanced desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) and new matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) imaging sources.

Together, these technologies enable scientists to more precisely explore molecular structure and function with a unique combination of speed, resolution, and mass accuracy. A scientist can research how an investigational oncology drug interacts with its intended target, such as a specific brain tumor receptor, for example, and can now do so at much faster speeds, up to 10 Hz, without compromising mass accuracy or resolution, Waters stated in a June 8, 2021 press release.

DESI is a direct-from-sample, soft ionization technique performed under ambient environmental conditions, requiring no prior sample preparation. This technology provides imaging information about the biochemical distribution of small-molecule drugs, lipids, and naturally occurring metabolites within a slice of tissue or on other sample surfaces after a single measurement. Scientists today are applying DESI to research breast and ovarian cancer, to study drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK), to investigate the function of key metabolites in natural products in traditional medicines, and to get a closer look at the biotransformation of bacterial colonies after gene modifications.

The advanced DESI XS features a new high-performance sprayer and a heated transfer line source. It delivers new levels of usability, image clarity and sensitivity at high speed, bringing more accessible imaging to scientists through mass spectrometry data.

The SELECT SERIES MRT is available with a newly designed MALDI source, making it usefule for scientists interested in conducting MALDI imaging experiments, MALDI is an ideal complementary technique for the imaging of biological molecules, such as peptides, and can visualize tissue sections at spatial resolutions of less than 10 microns. Taken together, the combination of imaging sources gives researchers the means to generate fine spatial information and morphological detail for biological samples and even visualize brain vasculature.


The SELECT SERIES MRT platform forms the basis of next-generation Waters high-resolution mass spectrometers. This product is the first commercially available instrument of its kind that is capable of attaining 200,000 full width half maximum (FWHM) resolution and part-per-billion mass accuracy, independent of scan speed, according to Waters. The instrument allows scientists to get the highest quality mass spectrometry data and information at faster times than other commercial mass spectrometers on the market today, the company stated in its press release. The new MRT technology features an extended flight path of almost 50 meters to give scientists a clearer picture of structural information, including fine isotope structure.

“The Waters SELECT SERIES MRT opens the door to a greater understanding of molecules and their mechanisms of action in numerous scientific fields,” said Dr. Udit Batra, CEO and president, Waters. “The clarity of images produced by this instrument can yield profoundly important molecular information to scientists in research areas such as targeted therapeutics, to provide insights and enable deep biological discoveries.”

Source: Waters