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The mass spectrometry is a technique that allows the identification of many chemical species and characterizes their nature, providing qualitative and quantitative information. Accompanying the technological development, the mass spectrometry also experienced immense progress in recent years in terms of instrumentation and application in many areas.


It stands out, within the field of applications, the proteomic analysis (protein composition of a fluid, cell or tissue at a given time and physiological condition), which has already provided significant advances in all biological areas, particularly in health. The synthesis of agents for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and inflammatory; the great importance in the search for anti-carcinogenic agents, the discovery of potential antimicrobial agents and in the development of methodologies for analysis of compounds with potential pharmacological interest. The mass spectrometry is undoubtedly a cutting edge at present, which contributes decisively to its importance at the biological level, widely recognised with the award of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2002 for the development of techniques and methods for the identification and structural analysis of biological macromolecules. The mass spectrometry is currently a major instrumental support in the critical areas of research and technology such as life sciences, health and the environment, thus contributing to the overall scientific development of the country to the highest international level.

Some examples of technological routine applications

  • Food industry: identification and characterization of oils and fats.
  • Paint and polymer industries: identification and structural characterization of polymers;
  • Pharmaceutical industry: identification and structural characterization of new compounds and natural products for biomedical application;
  • Environmental Control: identification of organic pollutants in wastewater.

Research applications under way in CQM

The mass spectrometry equipment installed on CQM, within the National Program for Scientific Re-equipment, integrating the National Network of Mass Spectrometry (REDE/1508/REM/2005) is being used as a routine tool for structural characterization of compounds in solution by researchers of CQM from the following national R&D projects, PhD and Post-doctoral grants:

  • ANTIVINMAC - Determination of Antioxidant Potential, Amino Acids and Biogenic Amines in Wines from Canárias, Azores and Madeira (ongoing)
Reference: INTERREG IIIB-MAC 2005-2008
Fellow(s) integrated in the project: Catarina Grace Luís
Type of grants (research (GR)/doctorate (GD)/post-doctoral(GPD)/other): GR
  • BIOPOLIS – building an European Bioregion (ongoing)
Reference: Interreg IIIB 05/MAC/2.3/C14Fellow(s) integrated in the project: Tatiana de Souza Weinhold
Type of grants (research (GR)/doctorate (GD)/post-doctoral(GPD)/other):GR
Fellow(s) integrated in the project:Susana Sofia Ramos
Type of grants (research (GR)/doctorate (GD)/post-doctoral(GPD)/other): GPD (under the project)
  • DENDRALGENE - Design of New Gene Delivery Vectors Based on Dendrimers, Alginate and the RGD Sequence for Bone Tissue Engineering (ongoing)
Reference: PTDC/SAU-BEB/71161/2006
Fellow(s) integrated in the project: Susana Sargo
Type of grants (research (GR)/doctorate (GD)/post-doctoral(GPD)/other):GR
  • FUNCMETAL-Functionalized Metallodendrimers Based on 2,4,6-tri-substituted-1,3,5-triazine Core Derivatives (initiated in January 2008)
Reference: PTDC/QUI/64202/2006
Fellow(s) integrated in the project:  Manuel Jardim
Type of grants (research (GR)/doctorate (GD)/post-doctoral(GPD)/other):GR
Fellow(s) integrated in the project: Swarup Maiti
Type of grants (research (GR)/doctorate (GD)/post-doctoral(GPD)/other): GPD (under the project)
  • Bone Tissue Engineering Via Local Gene Delivery (ongoing)
Reference: SFRH/BD/19450/2004/NG2H
Fellow(s) integrated in the project: José Luís Santos
Type of grants (research (GR)/doctorate (GD)/post-doctoral(GPD)/other):GD
  • Effect of heating process in the formation of typical aromatic compounds of Madeira wine (ongoing)
Reference: SFRH/BD/24177/2005
Fellow(s) integrated in the project: Vanda Pereira
Type of grants (research (GR)/doctorate (GD)/post-doctoral(GPD)/other):GD
  • Isolation and Characterization of Active Principles From High Plants Against Tuberculosis (ongoing)
Fellow(s) integrated in the project:Sandra Cristina Gonçalves Gouveia
Type of grants (research (GR)/doctorate (GD)/post-doctoral(GPD)/other):GD
Reference: SFRH/BD/24227/2005
  • Chemical characterization  and hierarchy (by chemometrics) of aging flavours of fortified wines (ongoing)
Reference: SFRH/BD/28660/2006
Fellow(s) integrated in the project: Ana Cristina Pereira
Type of grants (research (GR)/doctorate (GD)/post-doctoral(GPD)/other):GD
  • New Metallomolecular Wires Based in Oligothiophene Bridging Systems - A Systematic Study (ongoing)
Reference: SFRH/BD/29325/2006
Fellow(s) integrated in the project: João Figueira
Type of grants (research (GR)/doctorate (GD)/post-doctoral(GPD)/other):GD
  • Valorization of Residues From Fruit Transformation Industries in Madeira (ongoing)
Reference: SFRH/BD/32334/2006
Fellow(s) integrated in the project: Pedro Miguel Sena da Costa Branco
Type of grants (research (GR)/doctorate (GD)/post-doctoral(GPD)/other):GD
  • Evaluation of aromatic potential of Vitis vinifera varieties used in the preparation of Vinhos Terras Madeirenses. Influence of exogenous enzimatic action and the polymeric fraction in the wine aromatic properties. (ongoing)
Reference: SFRH/BD/38855/2007Fellow(s) integrated in the project: Rosa Perestrelo
Type of grants (research (GR)/doctorate (GD)/post-doctoral(GPD)/other):GD
  • Development of a methodology for the detection of biomarkers in respiratory allergic diseases based upon the application of solid phase m microextraction coupled with gas chromatography. Contributions for the establishment of a diagnosis method. (ongoing)
Fellow(s) integrated in the project: Michael Caldeira
Reference: SFRH/BD/40374/2007
Type of grants (research (GR)/doctorate (GD)/post-doctoral(GPD)/other):GD
  • Synthesis of Metallodendrimers based on 2,4,6-tri-substitued-1,3,5-triazine Derivatives (start in 2008)
Reference: SFRH/BPD/37576/2007Fellow(s) integrated in the project:  Manoj Trivedi
Type of grants (research (GR)/doctorate (GD)/post-doctoral(GPD)/other):GPD
  • Nanotemplating of Calcium Phosphates for Gene Delivery Using Dendrimers (start in 2008)

Reference: SFRH/BPD/38775/2007Fellow(s) integrated in the project:  Vuk Uskokovic
Type of grants (research (GR)/doctorate (GD)/post-doctoral(GPD)/other): GPD

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