orbitrapWe are three years into our journey with Orbitrap GC-MS. Time really does fly when you are having fun! It has been a real privilege to watch the story unfold and to see the world embrace this technology. Back in 2014, when we saw some of the first data on the Q Exactive GC Orbitrap GC-MS/MS system, we knew we had something special, but we could not have predicted how popular this technology would become and how fast it would impact so many different applications areas.

In fact, since its release (and at the time of writing this blog post) there have been almost 40 peer-reviewed publications that center around or include Orbitrap GC-MS. These span many different areas such as food, environmental, metabolomics, anti-doping, pharmaceuticals, and industrial products – to name a few.

We can also spend a brief moment here appreciating the diversity in some of the topics covered in these publications:

  • Addressing the tough analytical challenge of measuring chlorinated paraffins and studying patterns in salmon1
  • Delving into how environmental factors, such as seasonal diet affects toxicity of poisonous frogs2
  • New technique for screening banned compounds related to sports doping3
  • Validating methods for pesticide control in cereals4
  • Understanding the chemical characterisation of ancient mummies using metabolomic approaches5

References are listed below, if you are interested to find out more.

We also love to closely follow the experiences of scientists that have adopted this technology in their laboratories. Dr. Sascha Nowak, Head of the Analytics and Environment Division,  MEET Battery Research Center,  University of Münster has been using GC Orbitrap technology to get new insights into lithium ion battery degradation. He told us, “We can see many more compounds that we hadn’t seen before— including intermediates from the start of the reaction—which helps us establish reaction mechanisms.”

Download the case study related to Dr. Nowak’s work.

At UCLA Pasarow Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, Kym Francis Faull, Ph.D.,  Professor and Laboratory Director, uses his Q Exactive GC Orbitrap GC-MS/MS system in a broad variety of applications to advance research in a number of areas such as detecting leaching components of ruptured breast implants in blood and organic residue analysis in ancient artefacts, to name a few. “The Q Exactive is doing all the work we were able to do before, but better—due to greater sensitivity and more accuracy. It is a huge leap forward for us.”

Download the case study related to Dr. Faull’s work.

In addition, Dr. Nuria Cortés-Francisco, at the Laboratori de l’Agència de  Salut Pública de Barcelona uses GC Orbitrap technology to increase confidence in her analytical results during food and environmental testing. She says, “Confidence in analytical results is extremely important because they have legal and financial consequences. We need to eliminate chances of false positive or false

negatives. Though we routinely use triple quadrupole instruments, if we get any inconclusive results, we go to GC Orbitrap MS/MS technology to add additional specificity and sensitivity to our workflows.”

Download the case study related to Dr. Cortés-Francisco’s work.

These scientists and many more have achieved a great deal in just three short years with this technology in their hands, and many more discoveries and advancements are just around the corner.  It is indeed a new chapter in GC-MS and a very exciting one to be a part of.

For more details about this unique technology, click here.

Watch this video about the power of multi-award winning Orbitrap GC-MS technology.



1J Chromatogr A. 2018 Mar 2;1539:53-61. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2018.01.034. Epub 2018 Jan 31.

Chlorinated paraffin analysis by gas chromatography Orbitrap high-resolution mass spectrometry: Method performance, investigation of possible interferences and analysis of fish samples.

Krätschmer K1, Cojocariu C2, Schächtele A3, Malisch R3, Vetter W4.

Author information

  1. University of Hohenheim, Institute of Food Chemistry (170b), Garbenstraße 28, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany; European Union Reference Laboratory (EU-RL) for PCBs and Dioxins in Feed and Food, Bissierstraße 5, 79114 Freiburg, Germany.
  2. Thermo Fisher Scientific, Tudor Road, Manor Park, Runcorn, Cheshire WA7 1TA, United Kingdom.
  3. European Union Reference Laboratory (EU-RL) for PCBs and Dioxins in Feed and Food, Bissierstraße 5, 79114 Freiburg, Germany.
  4. University of Hohenheim, Institute of Food Chemistry (170b), Garbenstraße 28, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany. Electronic address: walter.vetter@uni-hohenheim.de.

From <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29397983>

2Seasonal changes in diet and toxicity in the Climbing Mantella frog (Mantella laevigata)

Nora A Moskowitz, View ORCID ProfileAlexandre B Roland, Eva K Fischer, Ndimbintsoa Ranaivorazo, Charles Vidoudez, Marianne T Aguilar, Sophia M Caldera, Jackie Chea, Miruna G Cristus, Jett P Crowdis, Bluye DeMessie, Caroline R Desjardins-Park, Audrey H Effenberger, Felipe Flores, Michael Giles, Emma Y He, Nike S Izmaylov, ChangWon C Lee, Nicholas A Pagel, Krystal K Phu, Leah U Rosen, Danielle A Seda, Yong Shen, Santiago Vargas, Hadley S Weiss, Andrew W Murray, Eden Abebe, Sunia A Trauger, Miguel Vences, View ORCID ProfileLauren A O’Connell

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doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/361998

From <https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/07/04/361998>

3Non‐targeted acquisition strategy for screening doping compounds based on GC‐EI‐hybrid quadrupole‐Orbitrap mass spectrometry: A focus on exogenous anabolic steroids

Gustavo de Albuquerque Cavalcanti

Lucas Martins Rodrigues

Leonardo dos Santos

Xin Zheng

Amit Gujar

Jason Cole

Monica Costa Padilha

Francisco Radler de Aquino Neto

First published: 10 June 2017


From <https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/dta.2227>

4J AOAC Int. 2018 Mar 1;101(2):342-351. doi: 10.5740/jaoacint.17-0408. Epub 2017 Nov 16.

Application of Gas Chromatography Coupled to Quadrupole-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry for Pesticide Residue Analysis in Cereals and Feed Ingredients.

Tienstra M1, Mol HGJ1.

Author information

  1. RIKILT Wageningen University & Research, Akkermaalsbos 2, 6708 WB Wageningen, The Netherlands.

From <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29141711>

5Analyst. 2018 Sep 21;143(18):4503-4512. doi: 10.1039/c8an01288a. Epub 2018 Aug 31.

Untargeted metabolomics-like screening approach for chemical characterization and differentiation of canopic jar and mummy samples from Ancient Egypt using GC-high resolution MS.

Brockbals L1, Habicht M2, Hajdas I3, Galassi FM2, Rühli FJ2, Kraemer T1.

From <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30168542>