Yesterday I had my first date with a SYNAPT™ from Waters. A workgroup from the biocentrum bought one, this week it was delivered.
So what’s a SYNAPT™? I would say it’s actually the cream of the crop of mass spectrometry platforms. It primarily differs from other platform in the feature of separation in terms of ion mobility.
Common platforms like QTof’s might distinguish between two peptides based on their mass, so they are separated in an Quadrupole, their mass over charge (m/z) is afterwards measured by their TOF. But there is a challenge with isobars. Since they have the same mass you’ll only get one peak for all of them. You are not able to differentiate between different elementary compositions with equal masses.
Waters now brings light to the dark. They developed a very new dimension of discovery. Their Triwave™ Technology allows you to dissolve different shapes of ions with equally mass. Actually I can’t tell you how it works, but take two sheets of paper, crush one of it and throw both out of your window. You see, there are some physics that let one of these papers reach the ground faster than the other one. With the SYNAPT™ you are able to distinguish between elements in your sample based on their shape.
With the upstream UPLC a species gives a peak in an spectrum, specified by retention time, m/z, shape and intensity. A new challenge to analyze and evaluate the resulting data.
(Fortunately) there was a small problem with the machine, so I was able to take a look inside. It was amazing to see the guts of this big box, stuffed with filigree technique!!
I think I felt in love with this machine.. Bad news for my wife, but that’s life ;-)