Improving the Reliability of Substance Identification

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Q Exactive instrument

In our continued drive for quality and scientific excellence, Charles River’s Den Bosch laboratory has recently acquired a Thermo Scientific™ Q Exactive™ high resolution mass spectrometer, augmenting the Q Exactive™ Plus instrumentation at our Edinburgh facility, and further extending our compound identification capabilities.

Using Thermo Orbitrap™ technology, a very high mass resolution of up to 280,000 can be achieved, allowing a mass accuracy of better than 1 ppm when compared to external libraries. This high performance not only allows the unambiguous identification of unknown impurities, degradation products and metabolites, but also enables a more reliable quantitation, due to the high selectivity and specificity, allowing the reduction of background interferences.

In the so-called 5-batch analysis studies, required for industrial and agrochemical registration, any impurity with a content of >0.1% should be identified and quantified. Very often these impurities are not known and must be identified by mass spectrometry. The Q Exactive instruments are important aids for the Charles River scientists in the interpretation of the raw data, and the assignment of a name to the molecules of interest. It is only after compound identification that a reliable quantitation study can start, with a sensitivity increase by a factor of 3-5 over the current state of the art LC-MSMS systems.

The Q Exactive series of instruments also offers greater reliability for the generation of certificates of analyses and identification of components in support of fate and metabolism workflows. Utilizing dedicated software such as Thermo Scientific Chromeleon™, Trace Finder™, Freestyle™ and Compound Discoverer™ for compound identification and quantitation, greatly aids our chemists working in this area.

Our clients are already reaping the benefits from this analytical capability. The ability to mine more data from a single injection, means they are saving time, as well as their precious sample. By taking advantage of data-sharing capabilities, through a secure portal, their in-house synthetic chemists can review full raw data files which further aids in the accurate production of authentic reference materials.

With the Q Exactive series of instruments, we have all relevant analytical technologies present to provide the entire package of substance identification, degradation and metabolism: UPLC-HRMS, UPLC-MSMS, GC-MSMS, ICP-MSMS and NMR (the latter only for test item confirmation).