The Isotope Bioscience Laboratory (ISOFYS) of the promoter-spokesperson is a centre of excellence holding unique expertise and equipment for analyses and applications of stable isotopes of light elements (H,C,N,O,S) ISOFYS currently manages eight platforms for stable isotope analyses, which foster interdisciplinary collaboration with UGent and (inter)national research groups, as the importance of stable isotopes for (life) science has steadily been growing since the 1990's.
The requested equipment is a liquid chromatograph interfaced with an isotope ratio mass spectrometry detector (LC-IRMS). An IRMS detector is a mass spectrometer specially designed to measure isotopic composition of 2H (D), 13C, 15N, 18O and 34S at natural abundance level. The fundamental difference with other mass spectrometry detectors is that adjacent masses are detected simultaneously rather than consequently, leading to isotope ratio measurements with outstanding precision and accuracy. Isotopic composition can be determined at elemental level on a bulk sample (e.g. a plant leaf) or at molecular level by coupling IRMS to a chromatographic system (e.g. individual sugars extracted from a leaf).