Waters Launches New Mass Spectrometer, Highlights Work in Sustainability at ASMS 2024

The Xevo MRT. Courtesy of Waters Corporation

The Xevo MRT. Courtesy of Waters Corporation

Waters made several big announcements during the American Society for Mass Spectroscopy (ASMS) conference in Anaheim, California earlier this week. The instrument manufacturer launched a new mass spectrometer the Xevo multi reflecting time-of-flight (MRT), building on its SELECT SERIES MRT, which was launched in 2021.

The company also announced that it received ACT Ecolabel certifications for 42 of its liquid chromatography columns. The ACT certification, which stands for accountability, consistency, and transparency, is given to manufacturers that demonstrate sustainability around the water use, packaging, and end-of-life process for analytical instruments. The company offers columns for high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC), and size exclusion chromatography (SEC).

“Our customers are looking at developing a better understanding of the sustainability of their suppliers, and that’s becoming a key decision criterion for them and really an important point for us as well,” said James Hallam, Vice President of the Research, Development and Advanced Testing Business Segment at Waters.

Both announcements come in response to broader calls in industry and academia for more reliable, faster, and sustainable products that can run large numbers of samples for work in metabolomics, lipidomics, metabolite identification, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) analysis, among other applications. These topics have been the focus of many recent conferences, including Analytica, which took place in early April in Munich, Germany.

“Every time we develop a new product, something on the forefront of our minds is how do we make that product more sustainable,” said James Langridge, PhD, Sr Director of the Discovery, Characterization, and Imaging Portfolio at Waters. “With Xevo MRT, the covers are not just thinner, they also take less weight, so they’re easier to transport around the world. They’re also made from recyclable materials. All that gets considered when we built new products. We think about the energy consumption.”

The Xevo MRT system delivers a 100,000 full width half maximum (fwhm) resolution at 100 Hz MS/MS scan speed and <500 parts per billion (ppb) mass accuracy. This enables deeper probing of biologically relevant concentrations with high levels of mass accuracy, independent of acquisition rate, the company wrote in a press release about the announcement.

High turnover in chemistry labs and the hiring of less-skilled workers in chemistry labs has led instrument manufacturers to develop technologies that are easier to use and require less analytical knowledge to work.

Waters is focused on making its technology easier to use as well. Hallam and Langridge said that analytical chemists in industry and academia are looking for products that make running samples more intuitive for lab workers, and the company’s new products reflect these trends.

“Productivity has always been there in an industrial environment,” Langridge said. “In academic environments now, as sample cohorts are getting bigger. That ability to get to a result is fundamental.”

Waters has also made additional investments in sustainability, including the opening of its precision chemistry manufacturing facility in Taunton, Massachusetts. In 2018, the company announced in a press release that it would be investing $215 million to develop the new facility, which is responsible for bulk synthesis of chromatographic media which is critical to sample analysis for pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, materials, food, clinical and biomedical research applications.

“When we built that that facility, then we had sustainability in mind and how we can make that as green as possible,” Hallam said.

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