Electrophoretic Spray Mass Spectrometry

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Mass spectrometers (MS) are sensitive tools used to measure small and large analyte molecules according to their mass-to-charge ratios (m/z). Biological samples often exist in complex matrices and despite the performance merits of MS, these instruments are vulnerable to the deleterious effects of solution phase ions, such as inorganic salts and other pre-charged species, used as buffers. These components can suppress analyte signals and cause a single ion to split across multiple signal channels, lowering sensitivity and complicating the spectrum. This is especially true for high salinity matrices. Alternative techniques use polymeric gels or liquid chromatography to remove salts and related interferences. The addition of chemical modifiers, such as acids or bases, reduces the likelihood of lowered sensitivity; however, under high salt conditions, this treatment has minimal effect. There is need for a method of desalting molecules thoroughly and simply for accurate mass spectrometry analysis.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a method that uses electrophoretic forces to remove interfering solution-phase ions prior to chemical analysis. This technology works with nanoelectrospray emitters to desalt ionized molecules rapidly. This method removes ions from the region where the analytical spray occurs. While the removal is not permanent, it persists for long periods to allow for the performance of nanoelectrospray MS analysis under normal conditions. Peptides, proteins, and pharmaceutical drugs all yielded improved results after the desalting process.

This technology has improved the analytical performance in the analysis of therapeutic pharmaceuticals, peptides, proteins, and contaminants often found in waste streams. In addition, its use in the analysis of numerous types of samples, such as biological, environmental, and industrial is possible. This technology works with any mass spectrometer such as a bench-top and miniature MS.

-Improved analytical performance
-Removes interfering solution-phase ions prior to chemical analysis
-Allows for nanoelectrospray MS under normal conditions
-Works with existing MS equipment

Potential Applications:
-Chemical analysis
-Analysis of pharmaceuticals, peptides, proteins, and contaminants
-Analysis of samples, such as biological, environmental, and industrial
Jun 27, 2018
Utility Patent
United States

Jul 14, 2017
United States
Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization
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