The Echo® MS system is a robust platform, and like any other platform, requires some routine maintenance on a regular basis. Here are 3 maintenance steps that can help you ensure consistent, reliable performance:
- Immediately before use or after switching carrier solvents, purge the carrier solvent at 1,000 µL/min for 5 minutes. This ensures there are no bubbles in the carrier solvent line to the Open Port Interface (OPI), and any previous carrier solvent has been thoroughly flushed in the tubing from the solvent bottle to the OPI. It should be noted that this process purges through a divert valve, just prior to the OPI.
- If a purge sequence is started just after running the system, a drip leak error may appear due to a small amount of carrier solvent in the OPI housing dripping onto the sensor. This should not be a problem—wait a few minutes for the sensor to dry and the error to clear.
- After purging, turn on the MS source gases (equilibrate an MS method) and start the carrier solvent flow. Wait an additional 2–3 minutes for the new carrier solvent to flush through the OPI and transfer line. When the line has purged, the ESI spray should be consistent and not flickering.
- On a weekly basis, empty and replace the coupling fluid with clean, reagent-grade water. Water from a standard lab-grade deionized water system is sufficient. The coupling fluid is recirculated through the system, so keeping it clean is important to ensure that it efficiently and consistently conducts the acoustic energy from the acoustic transducer to the sample in the plate.
- If the coupling fluid becomes contaminated with carrier solvent or some other non-aqueous liquid, this may trigger a system error indicating an error in acoustic conductance. If this happens, replace the coupling fluid and identify and correct the source of the contamination.