The rise and rise of ion mobility spectrometry

We've done some analysis to find out more about the current trends in ion mobility publications, and to see which fields are using technologies like FAIMS-mass spec to assist in their research.

Published on: 2 Mar 2017, under FAIMS

To see how ion mobility research is progressing, we’ve undertaken an analysis of publications in the field. Reassuringly, it looks like ion mobility spectrometry is still on the rise, with a continuing upward trend of new publications. We conducted separate searches for “ion mobility spectrometry” on its own, and “ion mobility” AND “mass spectrometry” (top chart). As you might expect, the results indicate that many researchers in the field are using ion mobility in conjuction with mass spectrometry.

As ion mobility techniques, such as FAIMS, offer separation that is orthogonal to mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography, they are ideal for identifying more features in the spectra of highly complex biological samples. This is particularly useful in ‘omics applications, where adding FAIMS can enable detection of 3x more features. The bottom chart shows how an increasing number of ion mobility spectrometry publications are now coming from the ‘omics field.

Does this data reflect your own experience? We are always interested to hear about how people are using ion mobility in their research, so please do get in touch!

Ion mobilityNumber of publications annually“ion mobility spectrometry”“ion mobility” AND “massspectrometry”19681971197419771980198319861989199219951998200120042007201020132016Year050100150200250300350400

Ion mobility in omics studiesNumber of publications annuallyion mobility spectrometry ANDproteomicsion mobility spectrometry ANDmetabolomicsion mobility spectrometry ANDlipidomicsion mobility spectrometry AND*omics2001200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016Year010203040506070

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Add ion mobility to existing mass spectrometers to provide in-source separation of ions

    • Retrofit to Thermo Scientific instruments


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