SMART Cymru supports Nu Instruments Ltd to develop a New Mass Spectrometer.
Two growing fields of analytical chemistry for inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) are nanoparticle analysis and elemental imaging but potential applications are constrained due to limited detection sensitivity and data acquisition speeds.
The fate of nanoparticles in the environment and their impact on biological systems is of significant concern as their use becomes more prolific in material technology. The current, single particle ICP-MS analytical technique relies on data acquisition methods set to a one specific elemental mass. This makes the distinction between man-made and naturally occurring nanoparticles impossible on an individual particle basis.
Nu Instruments Ltd who are based in Wrexham, are a leading manufacturer of precision mass spectrometer systems for various environmental, material science, analytical and research markets. They have developed a design concept to address this issue with the help of SMART Cymru support.
The Nu Instrument design concept improves on the current state of the art sensitivity by at least a factor of 4, with continuous data collection for thousands of individual particles in one analysis.
Elemental imaging is becoming a useful tool in the field of biotechnology where mapping of elements in tissue thin sections can provide significant information on disease and cancer treatment research. Integrating current laser ablation techniques with the Nu Instrument design concept will provide the complete solution for high speed imaging.
The product development phase of this project will deliver the design and construction of a new prototype instrument, enabling the company to expand into new markets and grow its existing markets.