The ExD Option for Waters SYNAPT™ MS

ExD WS-250

The ExD WS-250 Option for Waters SYNAPT™ MS is in the early adopter phase of development. Please contact us to inquire about becoming an early adopter on G2, G2-S, G2-Si, or XS platforms. Development is being supported by NIH SBIR grant 1R43GM134792-01.

Product Highlights

The ExD WS-250 Option makes electron-based fragmentation methods accessible and highly affordable for pharmaceutical, clinical, consumer product, and life science protein research laboratories.

Increase sequence coverage of larger peptides and intact proteins beyond the limits of CID alone.

Since ECD and CID produce complementary sequence information, the combination of both methods increases confidence in results.

ECD fragmentation products unique to isoaspartate clearly differentiate it from the non-isomerized form. Isoaspartate is implicated in age-related protein inactivation and aggregation, and reduced efficacy of protein therapeutics.

Side chain fragments (w-ions) produced by ECD can be used to distinguish isobaric amino acids.

The ExD Cell can operate in either ECD or transmission-only mode.

Our ExD filament design features a plug-in cassette with exchangeable filament insert for quick and easy replacement.

ExD is the only electron fragmentation technology fast enough to work after IMS. The ExD Cell operates at speeds greater than the fastest separation technique, and has been successfully tested with HPLC, IMS, and CE.

Install the ExD cell in your current instrument to maximize your investment, or add ExD to an instrument purchase order to capitalize on the increased sensitivity and resolution of newer technology.

Installation Options:

The ExD Cell attaches to the entrance of the instrument IMS chamber. It sits between a shortened Trap cell, which replaces the original instrument Trap cell, and the IMS chamber. 

The ExD Cell attaches to the exit of the instrument IMS chamber. It sits between the IMS chamber and a shortened Transfer cell, which replaces the original instrument Transfer cell. 

Two ExD Cells install in the entrance and exit positions. This configuration possesses the capabilities of both the ExD-IM and the IM-ExD options.

ECD is a “gentle” fragmentation method that preserves labile PTMs – phosphorylation, glycosylation – on fragment ions. With the ExD cell installed, use ECD to map their precise location on peptides and proteins.

Selective dissociation of disulfide bonds by ECD enables their localization without prior sample reduction.

What's in the Box?

The ExD WS-250 Option includes:

Sales & support for europe
We’re teaming up with MS Vision to bring electron-based fragmentation to Europe
MS Vision is an independent technology and services company providing value-added services and upgrade paths for mass spectrometry technology. MS Vision currently operates out of offices in the UK, Netherlands and Germany. As a vendor-independent service provider, MS Vision has extensive experience in high-mass and native electrospray mass spectrometry—which is why e-MSion is excited to announce we’re joining forces with MS Vision by entering into a multiyear sales and support agreement. MS Vision is our distribution and support partner for e-MSion in the European Union, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Norway.

When combined with MS Vision high-mass technology, the e-MSion ExD technology provides a practical solution for top-down biomolecule analysis on your current instruments. MS Vision will sell and support e-MSion’s ExD packages as upgrades for existing Waters Synapt systems, in addition to servicing upgraded systems for customers all over Europe.

Visit for more information!


Visit the Downloads page to get the latest software release of ExDControl.

Frequently Asked Questions

e-MSion uses “ExD” to refer to the broad range of electron energies the ExD cell can produce. The ExD cell is capable of both low-energy (below 3 eV) electron capture dissociation (ECD) and high-energy (3-20 eV) electron-induced dissociation (EID).

In the literature, “ExD” refers to a family of electron-based fragmentation technologies including ECD, EID, electron transfer dissociation (ETD), electron detachment dissociation (EDD), and negative ion ECD (niECD). EID is also sometimes split into hot ECD (HECD) and electron-impact excitation of ions from organics (EIEIO), depending on the electron energy used.

See Qi and Volmer. 2017. Electron-based Fragmentation Methods in Mass Spectrometry: An Overview. Mass Spectrometry Reviews 36, 4-15.

e-MSion currently offers a commercial ExD solution for Agilent LC/Q-TOF and Waters SELECT SERIES™ Cyclic IMS mass spectrometers.

Contact us if you are interested in becoming an early adopter of ExD for a mass spectrometer belonging to the Thermo Fisher Q Exactive Orbitrap™ series or the Waters SYNAPT™ G2 series.

Please contact e-MSion directly for service and support inquiries.

Including time for unpacking, venting, pump down, and performance verification, a field service engineer will typically require 2 days to complete the installation process. Hardware modification takes about 30 minutes.

Please contact us to learn more about installation requirements.

The ExD cell operates on a microsecond timescale. Its high speed and flow-through design means that the instrument duty cycle is unaffected by installation of the cell.

The ExD cell electron source is a consumable filament, which requires replacement after burning out. Several features in the ExD Software are designed to extend the filament lifespan by protecting it from rapid heat changes.

Filament replacement involves swapping out “plug-in” filament cassettes inside the cell, which minimizes the time spent with the instrument vented and the subsequent pump down time needed before the instrument is operational again. We provide users with instructions for replacing the filament in our product documentation.

Unlike ETD, ECD does not use any reagent. This combined with its distance from the source means the ExD cell does not require regular cleaning.

Use the ExD Software to change ExD cell settings. The same settings for ECD will work on most analytes with minimal adjustment. See Technology for a description of ExD cell operation.

Currently, the ExD AQ-250 Option for Agilent LC/Q-TOF offers an autotune feature for simplified use. Autotuning for our other products is under development.

Due to its flow-through design, the ExD cell operates at a speed compatible with HPLC, UPLC, CE, and IM separation methods.

The ExD cell is designed to fragment polypeptides, but can also be tuned to fragment glycans and lipids.

ECD efficiency theoretically increases with the square of ion charge, making the ExD cell more efficient at fragmenting large, multi-charged proteins. In practice, noncovalent interactions limit the ability of ECD alone to dissociate folded proteins larger than ~30kDa. Denaturing conditions and/or supplemental vibrational excitation can be used to increase ECD efficiency of larger proteins.

On the other end of the spectrum, the ExD cell is capable of fragmenting short peptides, albeit with lower efficiency. For ECD, a minimum precursor charge of 2+ is required to detect product ions because of the charge neutralization that occurs with electron capture.

The ExD cell can also be tuned for EID to target singly charged precursors and non-peptidic samples. This technique is currently only useful for applications where sample quantity is not limited. Development to increase EID efficiency is ongoing.

At some point, you or your service engineer may want to temporarily revert the instrument to its default hardware configuration. The “swap-out” design of the ExD cell makes this possible, since all original parts are preserved during installation.

Featured Publications
Top-Down Characterization of Denatured Proteins and Native Protein Complexes Using Electron Capture Dissociation Implemented within a Modified Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometer