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Waters broadens mass spec offering with REIMS acquisition

By Zachary Brennan , 29-Jul-2014
Last updated on 29-Jul-2014 at 15:36 GMT

REIMS is the enabling technology for the
REIMS is the enabling technology for the "Intelligent Knife," a device in the conceptual stages of development

Analytic science company Waters has acquired all of the assets of MediMass, which includes its Rapid Evaporative Ionization Mass Spectrometry (REIMS) technology, as well as patent applications, software, databases and REIMS expertise.

Rohit Khanna, VP at Waters, said, “This technology acquisition along with our recent agreement with Prosolia, Inc. for the exclusive rights to Desorption Electrospray Ionization (DESI) technology in clinical applications are key components in our burgeoning Heath Sciences initiative. Both direct-from-sample ion source technologies are strategic discriminators as we look to grow the impact of mass spectrometry."

As far as how the acquisition will impact Waters’ employment, spokesman Jeff Tarmy told us that the company has “extended opportunities to many former MediMass employees. Their expertise in REIMS is an important part of this move by Waters.” 

REIMS is the enabling technology for the "Intelligent Knife" or “iKnife,” a device in the conceptual stages of development that could potentially be used for real-time diagnostics in surgery. Waters is committed to exploring the viability of this application in accordance with all applicable regulatory requirements, though no regulatory approvals have yet been sought for the device.

Waters' experience with REIMS technology stems from a three-year collaboration between Waters, MediMass and Imperial College London focused on advancing REIMS. The goal of this relationship has been and continues to be advancing REIMS technology capabilities for health science applications.

“We at Waters see an array of potential applications for REIMS technology within health sciences and beyond,” Tarmy said. “The development of another direct-from-sample ion source capability can be strategic differentiator for Waters mass spectrometry solutions.”

REIMS is an ionization technique that can be used as a source for direct analysis of samples by mass spectrometry. To date, REIMS technology has shown the ability to bring ambient ionization sampling into real world applications such as food safety, microbiology and clinical diagnostic applications.

The transient nature of the REIMS signals is isuited for Waters' time-of-flight mass spectrometers. A REIMS ion source will be made commercially available to complement the current range of ionization sources on Waters Universal Ion Source platforms.

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