World’s first cyclic IMS mass spectrometer installed at Aston University

  • Technology brings university scientists unparalleled potential for biological and human disease research
  • First research instrument of its kind in the world

Aston University and Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT) announced today the completed installation of the world’s first Waters SELECT SERIES Cyclic IMS mass spectrometry system within the University’s School of Health and Life Sciences, where the instrument will support research into the biology of human diseases, the discovery of new therapeutics and advances in biotechnology.

Mass spectrometry is an analytical method used in science to identify and quantify molecules in a sample and determine their detailed structure..  For example, it can be used to identify more effectively disease biomarkers that allow for early detection.

The new instrument will be used by researchers at Aston University and across the Midland Innovation consortium to answer many complex biological questions.

Andrew Pitt, Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Aston University said: “We are delighted to have this new technology in our lab here at Aston; it will provide us and other researchers in the Midlands with a step change in how we conduct our research”.

“The new instrument is one of a relatively recent class of mass spectrometers, called ion mobility spectrometers, which are able to separate molecules based not only on their mass but also by their shape. This allows us to see what is going on in biology in much more detail, including information we are able to gain from the shape of molecules that will allow us to solve much more complex questions.”

The first-of-its-kind SELECT SERIES Cyclic™ IMS integrates cyclic ion mobility (cIM) technology into a high performance research-grade time-of-flight mass spectrometer with unparalelled experimental potential. Combining novel IMS capability with significantly improved mass spectrometry (MS) performance and enabling software, this platform allows leading researchers to unlock the potential in scientific discovery.

Jim Langridge, Innovation, Science and Technology Lead at Waters Corporation said: “Human biology is extraordinarily complex and the SELECT SERIES Cylic IMS System gives research scientists the ability to probe deeper into the mysteries of biology and human disease like never before.”

“By collaborating with researchers like Professor Pitt, we wish to continually advance the science of mass spectrometry and enable and hasten their research into improving human health and well-being.”

Aston University scientists will run a visiting researcher programme that will allow researchers from many disciplines to visit the university to learn about the instrument and test its potential.

Ion mobility mass spectrometry is a proven technique that separates molecular ions by their mass, charge and shape. The SELECT SERIES Cyclic IMS takes ion mobility separations to a new level by replacing the traditional linear ion mobility region with a novel compact cyclic ion guide. Ions traverse around the ion guide and with every pass, the instrument achieves greater ion mobility resolution.



The Journal Analytical Chemistry documented the effectiveness and power of the cyclic IMS instrument in a recent article titled: A Cyclic Ion Mobility – Mass Spectrometry System.

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

About Waters Corporation

Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT), the world's leading specialty measurement company, has pioneered chromatography, mass spectrometry and thermal analysis innovations serving the life, materials and food sciences for more than 60 years. With approximately 7,200 employees worldwide, Waters operates directly in 35 countries, including 15 manufacturing facilities, and with products available in more than 100 countries.

Waters and SELECT SERIES are trademarks of Waters Corporation.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, call Rebecca Hume, Press & PR Officer,
on 0121 204 5159 or email

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