Spectroscopy Since 1975

TrueMass is developing a commercial charge detection mass spectrometer

29 October 2021 | News
by Ian Michael

TrueMass is developing the first commercial charge detection mass spectrometry (CDMS) instrument, which they are announcing at this year’s ASMS in Philadelphia, PA. The TrueMass technology enables detailed analysis of macromolecules such as viruses. CDMS can overcome the challenge of identifying the true mass of large biomolecules at high resolution, and at high throughput. The TrueMass instrument introduces charge as an additional simultaneous measurement to determine the intensity of individual signals, addressing this long-standing trade-off.

Conventional mass analysers fail to give distinct spectral peaks for large species such as viral capsids and RNA, caused by the continuum of possible charge states delivered by electrospray ionisation and the limitations of charge accuracy. TrueMass overcomes this limitation by measuring both mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) and charge (z) together, resulting in true mass measurements. The CDMS technology incorporates an optimised electrospray source and ion interface, and returns a clear spectral peak for large molecule species in the MDa range.

John Hoyes, Founder and CEO of TrueMass, comments: “The pandemic showed us beyond all doubt that we have an urgent need for technology that provides accurate, reliable and in-depth analysis to help us better understand large molecules such as viruses. We have already secured significant investment to enable us to bring the CDMS prototype to proof of concept, testament to its strong potential, advanced analytical capabilities, and the confidence that the investors have in the technology.” Other applications include the analysis of proteoforms, DNA and, in materials technology, the characterisation of polymers and nanoparticles.

TrueMass was founded in the Netherlands in 2020 and has manufacturing facilities in Manchester, UK. The privately owned company has secured significant funding from business angels, with the mission of delivering new technology to help researchers and clinical laboratories worldwide advance research into drug development and materials technology. The investment will drive growth to proof of concept and onwards to full product commercialisation. TrueMass is the brainchild of John Hoyes. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the mass spectrometry industry with a long background in instrumentation design of mass and ion mobility spectrometers, most recently as Technical Director at Waters Manchester. John was awarded the HUPO (the Human Proteome Organization) Science and Technology Award in 2016 and was formerly a Waters Scientific Fellow.

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