01-Aug-2003 - LGC Ltd.

First commercial use two-dimensional Fast Gas Chromatography Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer (Fast GC-ToF-MS)

LGC selects 4D Pegasus® III model from ATAS UK to employ state-of-the-art GC mass spectrometry capability across its business.

LGC is the first commercial operation in the UK (and one of the first in the world) to invest in a two-dimensional Fast Gas Chromatography Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer (Fast GC-ToF-MS). In line with LGC´s commitment to invest in state-of-the-art technology, and following a rigorous evaluation exercise, LGC has purchased the new Pegasus 4D Fast GC-ToF-MS from ATAS UK, the UK distributor for Leco Corporation. The technology will be utilised across the LGC Group, bringing benefits of improved operational efficiency and greatly increased analytical capabilities for its high throughput services as well as for the characterisation of complex samples, such as nutraceuticals and natural products.

Key benefits the new technology will bring to LGC include time savings in preparing and running routine analyses; absolute confirmation for trace residue analysis; and multi-dimensional fingerprinting of complex samples.

"This is a very powerful tool for the analysis and characterisation of both unknowns and complex mixtures," said Richard Brown, Specialist Chromatographer at LGC. "The impact that this technology would have on any regulatory dispute involving "fingerprint" or authenticity analysis is potentially immense. Obviously, there is an extra cost involved in purchasing the 4D model, but this investment will allow us to perform a series of emergency analyses in a matter of hours with complete confidence in the results."

Dr Derek Craston, who headed up the commissioning team at LGC, said: "Fast GC-MS has suffered from a reputation of having a lack of robustness and reliability but the promise of what the technology could deliver has driven the evolution of the instrumentation. After an intensive test programme of the new equipment designed by LGC, we felt the time was right to invest and take advantage of the fast, reliable and detailed analysis that this technology now offers."

By combining time-of-flight mass spectrometry with ChromaTOF software, the Pegasus 4D is capable of locating both target and unknown analytes masked by interferences from the matrix. LGC opted for the 4D (or GC x GC) model which, as well as offering true Fast GC-ToF-MS with unit mass resolution, is also a research tool and allows comprehensive two-dimensional chromatography. This increases the peak capacity producing a significant enhancement in chromatographic resolution, and therefore the ability to analyse complex matrices containing thousands of analytes, all within ´one pass´, taking full advantage offered by the technology for reducing result turnaround times from hours to minutes.

The instrument was installed in May 2003 and it is now fully operational. The Pegasus 4D joins the growing list of state-of-the-art, leading-edge technologies that are available from LGC to meet the demand for analytical services.

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