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February 15, 2022



Somerville, Massachusetts – February 15, 2022 – Trace Matters Scientific today introduced two new technologies, SUPER Mass Spec™ and SPion Link™, both category-defining mass spectrometry technologies enabling a quantum leap in the scientific study of complex clinical samples, such as tissue and blood samples. These technologies will empower scientists by providing exceptional mass spectrometry capabilities, which were highly desired but not possible before. These capabilities include those needed to address the demanding needs of innumerable modern applications of mass spectrometry in human health and disease, including proteomics-based personalized medicine and biomarker discovery.  


The first technology, SUPER Mass Spec™, defines a new category of mass spectrometers in which ions produced by a single ion source are processed in parallel by a network of mass spectrometers. This stands in contrast to the serial processing of ions that is typically performed by conventional mass spectrometers. In a SUPER Mass Spec™, each cluster of mass spectrometers (a set of mass spectrometers with identical hardware that work together as a single system) operate in parallel, and therefore, sensitivity, scan speed, and dynamic range of each cluster is independently scalable. In addition, a SUPER Mass Spec™ allows for simultaneous analysis of a single sample with different clusters of mass spectrometers, each cluster employing a different type of mass spectrometry technology, such as triple quadrupole, time of flight, or trapping mass analyzers. This provides a multidimensional view of highly complex samples for cross examination and cross verification of mass spectrometry data, and promotes deep proteome coverage and quantitative data completeness in bottom-up proteomics workflows.


SUPER Mass Spec™ enables completely new architectures, in which clusters of mass specs are operated simultaneously. This translates into a tremendous boost in performance, and a massive mass spec power never imaginable before but now in reach,” said Mazdak Taghioskoui, Ph.D., Trace Matters Scientific’s CEO and the inventor of the technology. “In a single mass spec cluster, the dependency between ion accumulation times and cycle times shifts from instrument level to cluster level. What that means is that ion accumulation times can be made orders of magnitude longer than cycle times. That results in much faster and much more sensitive measurements at the same time, and brings data-independent acquisition (DIA) and data-dependent acquisition (DDA) workflows extremely close to each other if not completely merging them.”


The second technology, SPion Link™, is a breakthrough technology that extends the front-end of a mass spectrometer into a liquid handling station and seamlessly connects them to each other via a lossless ion transfer path. With SPion Link™, fully-automated mass spectrometry workflows can be developed to analyze samples directly from microtiter plates, such as 96-well plates, via custom disposable pipette tips. This provides significant advantages, particularly for clinical applications, where the amount of available sample is typically insignificant. SPion Link™ also minimizes reagent use and related costs, eliminates issues with cross-contamination and dead volumes, and allows for an unprecedented level of automation in mass spectrometry workflows essential in reproducibility of mass spectrometry data. It also reduces cost of analysis and minimizes exposure of lab personnel to biological samples that may be hazardous.


With SPion Link™, we are basically changing the paradigm from a mass spec-centered analysis to a sample-centered analysis —instead of taking samples to a mass spec, we are bringing the mass spec to samples. And the possibilities are endless: with SPion Link™, we can connect numerous mass specs to a single liquid handling station to massively increase throughput to be able to analyze hundreds of samples per second, or connect a mass spec to many liquid handling stations to make the best use of the instrument,” said Mazdak Taghioskoui. “With SPion Link™, we are also addressing many issues with existing mass spec workflows —by avoiding use of tubing, a 5000-years old technology for sample transfer, we are significantly reducing reagent consumption, and eliminating the related carryover and dead volume issues critical in mass spec workflows. SPion Link™ is also an attractive choice for emerging applications of mass spectrometry, such as single cell analysis. In some of these applications, a direct injection method combined with some-level of front-end separation, such as capillary electrophoresis or gas-phase separation based on ion mobility, is good enough for the purpose.”


Trace matters is working with collaborators from industry, academia, and government and welcomes collaboration inquiries from interested parties with relevant capabilities.


About Trace Matters Scientific

Trace Matters is a technology startup focused on developing the next generation of mass spectrometry technologies for a variety of demanding applications. Trace Matters technologies include innovative mass spectrometry hardware, methods, and applications to solve the most demanding mass spectrometry analysis needs in various industries. Trace Matters technologies are patented or patent pending, and for research use only.

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