The Exploratory Measurement Science Group
The Exploratory Measurement Science Group is an academic research group based in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. The group is headed by Dr Pat Langridge-Smith. Recently Pat led a successful bid to set up the Scottish Instrumentation and Resource Centre for Advanced Mass Spectrometry (SIRCAMS), which is housed here in the Department of Chemistry.

Listed below are the current EMSG research projects:

Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry
Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry (FTICR-MS) is a very high resolution technique based on magnetic trapping of ions and detection of their cyclotron frequencies. Mass resolutions exceeding 1,000,000 have frequently been demonstrated. For many applications, high mass resolution measurements are important to correctly assign peaks in the spectrum. Since the FTICR-MS is also an ion trap, it is well suited for studying ion-molecule reactions.

Capillary zone electrophoresis and capillary electrochromatography are both highly efficient miniaturised separation techniques well suited to interfacing to mass spectrometry.

Single Cell Analysis
This project involves analysis of the contents of single cells using microsampling techniques and mass spectrometry. Volumes in the picolitre range require the development of new sample handling techniques.

New Ionisation Methods
Growth in the use of MS has been punctuated by the development of new ionisation methods such as FAB, electrospray and MALDI. A new ionisation method is being developed that is based upon the piezoelectric generation of small droplets. Ionisation is accomplished by means of a mid infrared laser. This method of ionisation is very gentle and can preserve non-covalent interactions in biological systems.

Protein Profiling
Mass spectrometry in conjunction with a variety of liquid-phase separation techniques are being used to further the understanding of histones and their possible role in cell reprogramming.

Surface Analysis by Mass Spectrometry
In this project laser mass spectrometry is used to map the distribution of species across surfaces.

Cluster Science Nanoscale metal clusters have an important role in microscale fabrication and catalysis. Creation and analysis of these molecules can be performed via many mass spectrometric methods.

Instrumental Development
Development of time-of-flight mass spectrometers.