As part of the core facilities in the White City campus, the Department of Bioengineering have high specification liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry instruments. These instruments can be used to identify and quantify compounds and molecules in a wide range of matrices.  

The instruments are available for use by all members of the department, the wider Imperial College community and beyond.

Assistance from a dedicated technician is also provided, along with expertise regarding sample preparation and experimental design.

Further information can be found on the facilities’ dedicated wiki pages.

Available instruments at White City

Q Exactive

Q Exactive™ Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap™ Mass Spectrometer

The Q Exactive is a high specification mass spectrometer, equipped with: an API source with S-lens ion optics technology, injection flatapole with mass resolving capabilites, a quadrupole mass filter and collision cell for performing MS/MS experiments. It also has an Orbitrap mass analyser. 

The Q Exactive has many applications and can be used in: metabonomics, proteomics, environmental and food safety, clinical research and forensic toxicology.




Some key features include: 

  • Resolving power up to 140,000
  • Mass range for full scans: m/z 50 - 6000
  • S-lens in source region increases sensitivity by injecting more ions into instrument 
  • Rapid scan-to-scan polarity switching allows for the identifcation of more compounds in single run 
  • Sample introduction via direct infusion into the API source or a HPLC system  

Vanquish HPLC

Vanquish™ HPLC system

The Vanquish HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography) system is used to analyse mixtures of compounds in sample solutions. 

This modular system consists of: a column compartment, autosampler and binary pump. It also uses the Orbitrap mass analyser as the detector. 







Some key features include:

  • Up to 700 bar pump pressure and flow rates of up to 10mL/min
  • Multiple solvent channels available 
  • Precise temperature control 



The ACQUITY UPLC is a liquid chromatography system used to effectively separate components of a compound or mixture. UPLCs offer advancements over standard HPLCs by allowing for detection of smaller particle sizes, shorter run times and improved peak resolution.




Some key features include:

  • Binary or quaternary pump options with solvent blending
  • Sample manager allowing for large number of samples to be loaded and analysed
  • Maximum operating pressure: 1034 bar
  • PDA detector