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Agilent Technologies Introduces Forensics and Toxicology Database to Increase Compound-ID Speed and Confidence


DENVER, Colo., American Academy of Forensic Sciences 2009 Annual Meeting, Agilent Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: A) today introduced the Agilent G6855 MassHunter Forensic and Toxicology Database, enabling users to quickly identify more than 7,500 compounds with high confidence, based on liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) data.

“Advances in time-of-flight (TOF) instruments, primarily in sensitivity and unprecedented mass accuracy, are proving highly useful to the forensics community,” said Tom Gluodenis, Agilent Forensic and Toxicology business manager. “This database was created to help users quickly and easily harness the power of these accurate-mass instruments to run far more samples per workday without sacrificing data integrity.”

The database contains accurate-mass data for compounds of interest to forensic and toxicology investigators, gathered from laboratories around the world. It includes software for searching, editing and creating user-customizable content. It also features a ranking and scoring algorithm that assigns a confidence level for each match. The database accommodates the addition of LC retention times, which, combined with accurate mass results, provides a significantly increased confidence when confirming compound identity.

Time-of-Flight MS Emerges

Single (Q) and triple quadrupole (QQQ) mass spectrometers are fixtures in forensics and toxicology labs for quantitative screening of blood, urine and other body fluids. As the need grows to screen for larger numbers of compounds or unknown compounds, as well as demands to analyze more complex samples, the benefits of TOF-MS and quadrupole time-of-flight (QTOF) MS systems become apparent.

TOF-based systems can identify a vast number of targets without the need for specific instrument or analyte optimization. The detection limit and data quality remain constant for any given compound, even as the number of targets in the method or sample increases.

The sensitivity of TOF instruments has increased dramatically. For example, the Agilent 6230 Accurate Mass TOF LC/MS can detect and identify compounds in amounts smaller than two trillionths of a gram (2 picograms). The instrument delivers sub-1-ppm mass accuracy. Mass resolution is also enhanced with up to 20,000 resolving power at fastest spectral acquisition rates of up to 40 mass spectra per second, accommodating the latest high-throughput rapid-resolution uHPLC liquid chromatography platforms.

TOF and QTOF instruments also require very small amounts of sample. A single analysis captures a complete and comprehensive profile of each sample. Therefore, the data can be interrogated at any time in the future for additional targets of interest without the need to reanalyze the sample - this is of particular importance when only a limited amount of sample is available.

Agilent also offers an accurate-mass database for pesticides, and plans to develop additional accurate mass databases for other analysis sectors.

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world’s premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company’s 19,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $5.8 billion in fiscal 2008. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at


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