Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Their detection and quantification is an important part of drug development, food manufacturing, and quality control. It is necessary to have a reliable, accurate, and quick method for their analysis.

There are dedicated systems and methods for amino acid analysis, usually involving HPLC/UPLC with some derivatization steps. The advantage of these methods is that they are well known and widely accepted. The disadvantage is that they are expensive and time consuming, and require specialty equipment that is useful only for this one application. Excellims provides an alternative amino acid solution.

Electrospray HPIMS can detect amino acids in their underivatized form. It can also separate many of the common amino acids in a single run; if a few amino acids with sufficiently different structures are present in solution, simple injection into the GA2100 standalone HPIMS instrument can provide the separation in under one minute. If a more complete solution is needed, a fast HPLC run (using a standard reverse-phase column) can provide partial separation of the amino acids which is then immediately completed in the HPIMS. This eliminates the need for dedicated amino acid columns, and shortens the sample analysis time.