Orbitrap mass spectrometry: ultra-high resolution for every lab


Alexander Makarov

Thermo Fisher Scientific, Hanna-Kunath Str. 11, Bremen, Germany

This talk presents first-hand a short but eventful history of Orbitrap mass spectrometry, from laying down the first principles to its current status as the leading mass spectrometric technique for high-resolution, high mass accuracy quantitative measurements, promising to enable deeper and more comprehensive analysis of environmental and food samples with reduced requirements on sample preparation and clean-up.

Increasing speed of modern chromatographic separations imposes ever increasing requirements on throughput of mass spectrometric analysis and demands higher spectral acquisition rates and better control of different ion optical devices within mass spectrometers. Recent improvements in this area are exemplified for Q Exactive and Orbitrap Fusion families of instruments, with numerous new modes of operation enabled by parallelization of detection and ion processing and concerted operation of different ion-optical devices. A special emphasis is made on technical solutions that allow quantitative analysis in these instruments, despite Orbitrap analyzer being of an ion trapping type. New modes of data-independent, targeted and top-down acquisitions are overviewed.

In conclusion, future trends and perspectives of Orbitrap mass spectrometry are discussed, including its inroads into emerging areas of mass spectrometric analysis. It is shown that Orbitrap-based mass spectrometers possess compelling potential as an (ultra-) high resolution platform not only for high-end proteomic applications but also for screening, trace and targeted analysis by LC/ and GC/MS.

A. A. Makarov

Alexander Makarov was born in a Siberian town of Irkutsk in 1966 and went to study to Moscow Engineering Physics institute where he also obtained his PhD. After 2 post-doc years in Warwick Univ., he joined a small high-tech company HD Technologies in Manchester (UK). There he has started his work on the Orbitrap mass analyzer. Following the acquisition of the firm by Thermo Electron Corp. in 2000, Alexander has provided scientific leadership of the Orbitrap R&D which led to the commercial launch of LTQ Orbitrap mass spectrometer in 2005 and subsequent numerous extensions of this technology, with many thousands instruments of 3 major families installed worldwide. He has received Award for Distinguished Contribution in Mass Spectrometry of ASMS, Science and Technology Award of HUPO, Thomson medal of IMSF and others. His hobbies include traveling, mountain skiing, roller-blading. He holds position of Director of Research, Life Science Mass Spectrometry in Bremen, Germany and a Chair in High Resolution Mass Spectrometry at Utrecht University in Netherlands.