Unique Panoptic Ion Source for Analyzing Complex Mixtures with Mass Spectroscopy

Mass spectrometry (MS) is a widely used research tool for determining the exact molecular weight of particles within a sample. It separates electrically charged ions within a gas phase that are subsequently transferred into a mass analyzer, where they are sorted in space or time according to their mass-to-charge ratios. The output data corresponds to the original molecules, their fragments, and other species formed during the ionization process and is used to directly identify the molecules based on the mass-to-charge ratio and fragmentation patterns.

The Need

Several commercial MS platforms are available for a number of industries that perform rapid, accurate, and reproducible evaluations of various analytes. However, they cannot simultaneously evaluate solids, liquids, and gasses. Hence, new products that can assess all three stages of matter would substantially benefit the MS industry and expand the technology’s applications.

The Technology

This invention describes an MS using a panoptic ion source to evaluate solids, liquids, and gas analytes. The ionization chamber comprises electrodes, electrode holders, capillary tubes, glass vials, and a power source. The ion source charges analytes via electrospray ionization and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization. The inventors have created an advanced prototype of the device accompanied by an extensive dataset demonstrating the platform’s capabilities.

Commercial Applications

This invention can be used for life sciences, drug/diagnostic development, oil and gas, and many other industries that utilize MS to analyze complex organic compounds.


Potentially the first mass spectrometry platform that rapidly evaluates analytes from solids, liquids, and gases. Capable of in-capillary micro-extraction for ultrasensitive analysis of complex mixtures of organic compounds, which is essential for diagnostic applications. Can be used for high throughput screening of samples such as from biofluids.



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