National Training Centre

What is the NTC?

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Training Videos


  • The EPSRC UK NMSF at Swansea University

    The EPSRC UK NMSF at Swansea University

  • NMSF 2015 Film

    NMSF 2015 Film

  • History of NMSF

    History of NMSF

Training Courses


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What will you learn on this course?

TopicsLearing Outcomes
Absolute Basics
  • You will learn the theory of mass spectrometry and importance of good MS
  • You will learn about the different types of mass spectrometry
  • You will understand the definition of MS
  • You will learn about the principles and components of MS
  • You will learn about the purpose and principles of data analysis
Instrument Operation and Sample Handling
  • You will learn about the different types of mass spectrometry
  • You will become familiar with a mass spectrometer and learn about the function and operation of individual MS components
  • You will analyse individual samples and create sequences for analysing multiple samples
  • Choose from either:
    1. ESI, nESI and LC-MS,
    2. EI, CI, APCI (ASAP) and GC-MS, or
    3. MALDI.
Mass Spectral Interpretation
  • You will become familiar with interpreting information from mass spectra
  • You will lear about different fragmentation techniques
  • You will become familiar with general aspects of fragmentation
  • You will understand the fragmentation of even-electron positive ions
  • You will undertake qualitative data analysis with a set of data files
GLP and Basic Maintenance Source cleaning, pumps and gas regulators, sample amounts, practical analysis and troubleshooting data output and header info, Open Access labs
  • You will learn the logical steps of instrument troubleshooting
  • You will have practical experience of adjusting the parameters and performing maintenance of an instrument
Administration and Software
  • You will learn about different software packages
  • You will learn the importance of modern Laboratory Information Managemnt Systems (LIMS)
  • You will learn how to undertake installation, set-up and an overview of software
  • You will learn about auxiliary MS-related/chemistry software and e-resources

Course accreditation

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Who are the courses for?

These courses are for UK university technicians, researchers and academics for which a small charge is payable to cover refreshments and lunch. They are also suitable for technicians and scientist in industry and overseas universities with prices starting at £250+VAT for half a day. For postgraduate students we recomend the FREE two-and-a-half day 'Mass Spectromerty Summer School' which is held each July.

Training Venue: EPSRC UK Nataional Mass Spectrometry Facility at Swansea University Medical School

Number of days: 0.5 - 1 days (Duration is flexible)

Data Output understanding your results

Characterisation Scans

Accurate Mass Measurement

Separation Techniques

GC-MS: data should be self-explanatory
LC-MS: Orbitrap

Frequently Used MALDI Matrices

AbbreviationNameApplicationsTypical Preperation
Anth anthracene
CHCA alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid Peptides <5,000 uMix 1-2 mg in 100 uL of 50:50 Acetonitrile:Water with 0.1% TFA. The solution must be saturated to be useful.
DCTB trans-2-[3-(4-tert-butylphenyl)-2-methylprop-2-enylidene]malononitrile
DHB 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid Small molecules, peptides and proteins Mix 10-15 mg into 1 ml of methanol. Unlike SA or α-cyano, DHB generates a complete solution rather than a saturated solution.
Dith 1,8,9-trihydroxyanthracene or dithranol
HABA 2`-(4-hydroxyphenylazo)benzoic acid
HPA 3-hydroxypicolinic acid
IAA trans-3-indole acrylic acid
PFBA 2,3,4,5,6-pentafluorobenzoic acid
PFCA 2,3,4,5,6-perfluorocinnamic acid
SA sinapinic acid Peptides and proteins >5,000 u Mix 1 µL in 300 ul of 50% acetonitrile in water with 0.1% TFA. The solution must be saturated to be useful.
TCNQ 7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquinodimethane
Ter 2,2':5',2''-terthiophene
THAP 2,4,6-trihydroxyacetophenone Oligonucleotides and phosphorylated peptides Mix 12 mg of 2,4,6-Trihydroxy acetophenone and 7 mg Ammonium citrate, dibasic. Dissolve with 1 ml of 50% acetonitrile in water.
Drying Matrix Spot

Courses for undergraduates and postgraduates

EPSRC Mass Spectrometry Summer School 2017

The 2016 Summer School was held on 12–14 July.

Swansea University Medical School, Singleton Campus, Swansea SA2 8PP

Basics of Mass Spectrometry
Interpretation of mass spectra
Ionisation techniques and mass analysers
Introductions to GC-MS and LC-MS
Instrument demonstrations

If you're a UNIVERSITY MASS SPECTROMETER OPERATOR and are interested in trainning please get contact us to discuss, as we can offer courses tailored to your specific needs.

Institute of Mass Spectrometry
Winter School 2017

Wednesday 1st - Thursday 2nd February 2017

Swansea University Medical School, Singleton Campus, Swansea SA2 8PP

Who is it for?

Final year science undergraduates expecting a 2.1 or higher with an interest in analytical science.

This FREE course has limited availability and spaces allocated on a first come first served basis.

Here's a fraction of the feedback from our delegates

Schools & College Outreach

What is Mass Spectrometry?

Mass spectrometry involves the ionization of a sample to produce either positive or negative ions. These are accelerated in a vacuum system and the mass of the intact molecule determined. In addition the masses of fragments produced during the ionisation processes can be determined to give structural information. Accurate mass measurement of the molecular ions can lead to the determination of elemental composition. A study of the fragmentation patterns can lead to the identification of unknown reaction products through computer library matching. “Soft” ionization techniques such as Chemical Ionization, (CI), Liquid Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (LSIMS, - often called FAB), Matrix-assisted Laser Desorption / Ionization (MALDI), Electrospray Ionization (ESI) and Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization (APCI) can be used to reduce fragmentation and enhance the abundance of the intact molecular ion.

Coupling of chromatography (gas or liquid) to mass spectrometry allows separation and analysis of mixtures. These techniques of GC/MS and LC/MS assist in the identification of organic compounds from a wide variety of sources: synthetic, natural or biomedical.

Lecture in progress

Swansea University offers a range of activities to School and College students via their Outreach Programme. Including the following two interactive talks given by the Mass Spectrometry Facility staff:

Mass Spectrometry: Measuring the Building Blocks of Matter!

Mass Spectrometry: What's in My Painkiller?