WHAT'S NEW WITH DART ® MS?                                             MAY 2016   
 The Latest Developments in Direct Analysis in Real Time Mass Spectrometry 

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Retro- ASMS  - RETURN of the PROBE

It's that time of year again as the ASMS rolls into San Antonio.  This is the third time since 1984 for this writer.  Back then Mass Spectrometry was simple; you either used a GC inlet or a direct probe to get your substance into the EI ionization source, fragment ions galore!   Even people with advanced instruments with their Fast Atom Bombardment source (FAB-MS) were using probes.  Ion formation changed the second visit to South Texas in 2005, probes disappeared, and liquid sampling   ruled the day.  One bright spot though, DART and DESI hit the stage and things have been changing ever since.

In a bow to the ancients, IonSense announces the RETURN OF THE PROBE!  We still love DART ionization and the open source concept, that is for sure, however, sometimes people want more so we are bringing a novel Thermal Desorption module (TDM) to you and with it Direct Evaporation (DEP) , and Pyrolysis (PyP) probes for high temperature sample analysis. With its unique design the Thermal Desorption module couples to our VAPUR® technology permitting desorption from SWABs, cloth, and other objects remotely from the DART ionization region.  The result is the first universal desorption unit capable of handling the wide variety of SWABs used in custom built IMS, and Thermal desorption units.  Imagine being able to confirm by mass those signals generating spurious peaks in drift-based detectors.

The TDM will be on display at our BOOTH 119.  You can also visit our DART source mounted on the popular WATERS ACQUITY QDa mass detector in the WATERS hospitality suite each evening.  That's a compact detector with all the versatility of DART sampling designed to make your science life easier! 

Also, for those of you who have not visited our website lately please take a gander, its been redone. Searchable bibliographies have been added to each application page allowing you to get ideas for your experiments in seconds.  

Best regards,

Brian Musselman, Ph.D.
President and CEO

Recent DART Publications 

The Complete DART Bibliography is Now Available - CLICK HERE
Source Operating Parameters on DART of 18 Active components from 
Traditional Chinese Medicines

Lu Wang, Shanshan Zeng, Haibin Qu

 Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 121, 30-38, 2016
Direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry (DART-MS) provides a new analytical method for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The present study investigated the effects of key ion source operating parameters on DART-MS analysis of various TCM active components. A total of 18 active components, including phenylpropanoids, alkaloids, saponins, flavones, volatile oils, and glycosides, were examined. For each substance, the peak area and signal-to-noise of its characteristic ions under different reagent gases and heater temperatures were compared. Based on the comparison, the relationships among chemical structures, ion source parameters and instrument responses were revealed. Finally, some suggestions about choosing reagent gas and heater temperature were proposed for types of TCM active substance, which offered a reference for the application of DART-MS on TCM analysis.

Rapid Identification of Synthetic Cannabinoids in Herbal Incenses with 

  M Marino, B. Voyer, R. Cody, AJ Dane, M Veltri, L Huang
J. Forensic Science, 61, S1, pp. S82-S91, 2016
The usage of herbal incenses containing synthetic cannabinoids has caused an increase in medical incidents and triggered legislations to ban these products throughout the world. Law enforcement agencies are experiencing sample backlogs due to the variety of the products and the addition of new and still-legal compounds. In our study, proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy was employed to promptly screen the synthetic cannabinoids after their rapid, direct detection on the herbs and in the powders by direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry (DART-MS). A simple sample preparation protocol was employed on 50 mg of herbal sample matrices for quick NMR detection. Ten synthetic cannabinoids were discovered in fifteen herbal incenses. The combined DART-MS and NMR methods can be used to quickly screen synthetic cannabinoids in powder and herbal samples, serving as a complementary approach to conventional GC-MS or LC-MS methods.

Detection of nicotine as an indicator of tobacco smoke by direct analysis in real time (DART) tandem mass spectrometry

A Kuki, L Nagy, T Nagy, M Zsuga, K Sándor

  Atmospheric Environment, 100, 74-77, 2015
The residual tobacco smoke contamination (thirdhand smoke, THS) on the clothes of a smoker was examined by direct analysis in real time (DART) mass spectrometry. DART-MS enabled sensitive and selective analysis of nicotine as the indicator of tobacco smoke pollution. Tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) experiments were also performed to confirm the identification of nicotine. Transferred thirdhand smoke originated from the fingers of a smoker onto other objects was also detected by DART mass spectrometry. DART-MS/MS was utilized for monitoring the secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) in the air of the laboratory using nicotine as an indicator. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the application of DART-MS and DART-MS/MS to the detection of thirdhand smoke and to the monitoring of secondhand smoke.

While at the ASMS be sure to attend the 
Forensic Tutorial Session on Sunday afternoon 
and one of the nearly 50 DART presentations

Work at IonSense - Sales and Applications

We are looking for sales and marketing professionals to help us drive our North American business forward into its second decade. Positions to be opened this summer include:   Regional Sales (East and Mid-West),  Inside marketing specialist and Applications Scientist.  We are a small company looking to do big things.  For position description please email me at

IonSense, Inc. provides OpenSpot Mass Spectrometry™ solutions to the fields of food safety, forensics, drug development, and chemical analysis. We manufacture and develop direct analysis in real time (DART ®) technology licensed from JEOL USA, Inc. and atmospheric solids analysis probe (ASAP™) licensed from M&M Consulting.

DART and ASAP Sources are available for most commercial LC/MS systems.   Look here to see if your system is DART-ready.  And    check here to see if your system is ASAP-ready.

For your local representative, please see our distributor network. 

Phone - 781.484.1043  | |