Ionspray and atmospheric pressure photoionization Andries
Ionspray and atmospheric pressure photoionization
Andries Bruins obtained his BSc and PhD degrees on FT-ICR mass spectrometry at the University of
Amsterdam, under the supervision of Prof. Nico Nibbering. He then worked as a postdoc at the
University of Warwick with Prof. Keith Jennings, where he conducted research on negative ion chemical
ionization and collision-induced dissociation. He assumed directorship of the Mass Spectrometry Core
Facility of the University of Groningen in 1976. In 1985-1986 Andries Bruins was a visiting scientist at
Cornell University with Prof. Jack Henion. It was during that period that he developed, in collaboration
with Henion and Tom Covey, the ionspray ionization technique, a key development in the field of mass
spectrometry for coupling this technique to liquid-phase separation techniques. The publication
describing this work, Ion spray interface for combined liquid chromatography/atmospheric pressure
ionization mass spectrometry, (A.P. Bruins, T.R. Covey and J.D. Henion, Anal. Chem. 1987, 59, 26422646) has garnered 769 citations. Bruins went on to develop atmospheric pressure photoionization in
2000, work which is described in (Robb, Covey and Bruins, Anal. Chem. 2000, 72, 3653-3659; 507
citations). Together with John B. Fenn’s electrospray (for which Fenn received the Nobel prize in 2002)
and E.C. Horning’s atmospheric pressure chemical ionization, these ionization interfacing techniques
have made it possible to use mass spectrometry in a vastly increased number of medical and life science
applications, and allowed the advancement of proteomics and other cutting-edge life science fields.
IonSpray is being used today in almost every MS lab worldwide for LC/MS coupling.
Figure: Andries Bruins (far right) with Tom Covey (second from right), probably at the Henion lab at
Cornell in the 80’s.
Source: Sabeth Verpoorte (University of Groningen), with thanks to Rainer Bischoff (University of