Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Robotics takes mass spec to the third dimension for forensics, pharma applications

05.04.2018

Within the past decade, many advancements have been made in the 3-D market from printing to movies. Now scientists report in ACS' Analytical Chemistry that by combining a robotic arm and mass spectrometry, they can analyze the surface of irregularly shaped 3-D objects, potentially opening up new branches of forensics and pharmaceutics.

Mass spectrometry (MS) is a tool that helps researchers identify the components of a sample. In recent years, the instrument has made its way outside the laboratory for use in forensics and drug screening. But current MS techniques can not examine large, bulky, curved objects without a lot of human intervention.


By combining a robotic arm and mass spectrometry, researchers can analyze the surface of 3-D objects, such as footballs.

Credit: American Chemical Society

Previously, Facundo M. Fernández and colleagues performed a proof-of concept study to show that a 3-D infrared camera could direct a robotic arm to collect samples for plasma ionization MS analysis, but only certain types of molecules could be studied with the method.

In the current work, the team wanted to expand on this idea of direct surface sampling of irregularly shaped 3-D objects.

The researchers developed a new method called robotic surface analysis MS (RoSA-MS). To do this, they attached a custom-built laser scanner to a force-sensing robotic arm. The laser scanner created a digital map of the sample's surface, which directed a spring-loaded sampling probe -- also attached to the arm -- to certain locations.

The probe briefly contacted the surfaces of objects and collected trace amounts of the material. After collecting the sample, the arm placed the probe into an electrospray ionization mass spectrometer that can analyze a wide range of samples.

The researchers note that the probe could be tailored for different applications. For example, they used RoSA-MS to detect caffeine on the surface of a plastic coffee cup and to pinpoint the locations of pesticide residue on a small football.

###

The authors acknowledge funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Science Foundation Center for Chemical Evolution.

The abstract that accompanies this study is available here.

The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

Media Contact

Katie Cottingham
k_cottingham@acs.org
301-775-8455

 @ACSpressroom

http://www.acs.org 

Katie Cottingham | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Structual color barcode micromotors for multiplex biosensing
21.01.2020 | Science China Press

nachricht Cyanobacteria in water and on land identified as source of methane
21.01.2020 | Forschungsverbund Berlin

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A new look at 'strange metals'

For years, a new synthesis method has been developed at TU Wien (Vienna) to unlock the secrets of "strange metals". Now a breakthrough has been achieved. The results have been published in "Science".

Superconductors allow electrical current to flow without any resistance - but only below a certain critical temperature. Many materials have to be cooled down...

Im Focus: Programmable nests for cells

KIT researchers develop novel composites of DNA, silica particles, and carbon nanotubes -- Properties can be tailored to various applications

Using DNA, smallest silica particles, and carbon nanotubes, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed novel programmable materials....

Im Focus: Miniature double glazing: Material developed which is heat-insulating and heat-conducting at the same time

Styrofoam or copper - both materials have very different properties with regard to their ability to conduct heat. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz and the University of Bayreuth have now jointly developed and characterized a novel, extremely thin and transparent material that has different thermal conduction properties depending on the direction. While it can conduct heat extremely well in one direction, it shows good thermal insulation in the other direction.

Thermal insulation and thermal conduction play a crucial role in our everyday lives - from computer processors, where it is important to dissipate heat as...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer IAF establishes an application laboratory for quantum sensors

In order to advance the transfer of research developments from the field of quantum sensor technology into industrial applications, an application laboratory is being established at Fraunhofer IAF. This will enable interested companies and especially regional SMEs and start-ups to evaluate the innovation potential of quantum sensors for their specific requirements. Both the state of Baden-Württemberg and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are supporting the four-year project with one million euros each.

The application laboratory is being set up as part of the Fraunhofer lighthouse project »QMag«, short for quantum magnetometry. In this project, researchers...

Im Focus: How Cells Assemble Their Skeleton

Researchers study the formation of microtubules

Microtubules, filamentous structures within the cell, are required for many important processes, including cell division and intracellular transport. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

„Advanced Battery Power“- Conference, Contributions are welcome!

07.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new look at 'strange metals'

21.01.2020 | Materials Sciences

Body's natural signal carriers can help melanoma spread

21.01.2020 | Health and Medicine

Structual color barcode micromotors for multiplex biosensing

21.01.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>