A time-of-flight matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometer (Biflex III, Bruker Daltonics, Billerica, MA), located at the University of Delaware was configured to operate over the Internet. To remotely control the instrumental parameters and sample manipulation, we use the Virtual Network Computing (VNC, AT&T Research Laboratory, Murray Hill, NJ) software package. The VNC server runs on the instrument control computer and VNC clients run on the remote computers.
This approach is usefull in research as well as in teaching. The instrument was controlled over the Internet from various classrooms at GWU. The Internet-based remote operation was incorporated into a graduate level course (Ions Wet and Dry), into a presentation on proteomics at the GWU Medical School as well as into presentations on advanced teaching technologies at GWU. The latter also featured remote experimentation from a laptop computer utilizing wireless networking, a very attractive approach for student participation.
Please check Prof. Murray V. Johnston's web page at University of Delaware for more information about this project.