The Department of Medical Biochemistry has a long tradition in Mass Spectrometry. Professor Einar and Stina Stenhagen had an early forsight that mass spectrometry should be a very important tool for not only medical research, but also clinical medicine. When the moved to Gothenburg around 1960 they started a large effort to both develop mass spectrometers and the application of mass spectrometry in biomedicine. The first system where chromatography was coupled to mass spectrometry was developed by them and the first prototype constructed in the at that time large machine shop at the Department. They also built other mass spectrometry prototypes as time-of-flight machines. However, due to insufficient electronics and lack of appropriate ionizations methods at that time. mass spectrometry got a relative limited use un biomedicine.
Karl-Anders Karlsson took up mass spectrometry and used this for the characterization of glycosphingolipids. Instrumental for this development was Weston Pimlott that come to install an AEI MS9 1968 and remained in Gothenburg until his retirement. In the late 1970ies the group has analyzed the largest biomolecule, a permethylated ten-sugar glycolipid, at that time. The development of novel ionization methods from the 1980ies suitable from the analysis of biomolecules, Fast Atom Bombardment (FAB), Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization (MALDI) and ElectroSpray Ionization (ESI) has been well taken care of with the installation of several generations of mass spectrometers. The tradition of chromatography-mass spectrometry has been carried forward by Hasse Karlsson, first with high-temperature gas chromatography for mucin oligosaccharides and later on with nano liquid chromatography/improved interphases for peptides and oligosaccharides.

The current instrumentation availabe are shown below. The most recent installed (2013) is a Thermo Q-Exactive

Q-Exactive set up for for advanced protein, peptide and posttranslational research. Funded by grant from Lundberg Foundation to Gunnar C. Hansson 2012. LTQ-Orbitrap ETD mass spectrometer set up for for advanced protein, peptide and posttranslational research. Funded by grant from Knut och Alice Wallenberg Foundation to Gunnar C. Hansson 2007-2008.
LTQ mass spectrometer set up for glycomics work. The system uses 75-180 um graphite columns. Funded by grant from Vetenskapsradet to Gunnar C. Hansson 2005-2006.