The Verdel team has developed a method where the position of the analyte ions are modulated in and out of a ‘fragmentation zone’ created by a laser or electron beam by applying radiofrequency voltages that have the same frequency as the motion of the analyte ions.
The voltages are used to manipulate the positions of the analyte ions with a frequency that is related to their m/z ratio. Because the analytes are modulating in and out of the ‘fragmentation zone’, if the analyte ions are fragmented, all fragment ion peak abundances will be modulated at the frequency of their precursor ion’s m/z.
This allows a two-dimensional Fourier transform to relate each fragment ion to its respective precursor analyte ion; users get structural information on all the analytes in the sample. The 2DMS software can automatically assign fragment ions to their precursors, which enables rapid and accurate data interpretation and structural analysis.
A key benefit of 2DMS is that because all the fragmentation in a sample is done simultaneously, 2DMS can be as much as 100x faster than MS/MS. A significant sensitivity improvement should also be seen due to the signal averaging capability of the Fourier transform.
Currently the only instruments capable of this are large, expensive FTICR MS instruments that are time-consuming to operate and maintain. The speed of analysis (1 hour) using 2DMS on an FTICR is very slow, so 2DMS has so far been limited to academia.
Verdel are bringing 2DMS into routine use within research and high throughput laboratories.