Time-resolved mass spectrometry

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Time-resolved mass spectrometry (TRMS) is a strategy in analytical chemistry that uses mass spectrometry platform to collect data with temporal resolution. [1] [2] [3] Implementation of TRMS builds on the ability of mass spectrometers to process ions within sub-second duty cycles. It often requires the use of customized experimental setups. However, they can normally incorporate commercial mass spectrometers. As a concept in analytical chemistry, TRMS encompasses instrumental developments (e.g. interfaces, ion sources, mass analyzers), methodological developments, and applications.



An early application of TRMS was in the observation of flash photolysis process. [4] It took advantage of a time-of-flight mass analyzer. [5] TRMS currently finds applications in the monitoring of organic reactions, [6] formation of reactive intermediates, [7] enzyme-catalyzed reactions, [8] convection, [9] protein folding, [10] extraction, [11] and other chemical and physical processes.

Temporal resolution

TRMS is typically implemented to monitor processes that occur on second to millisecond time scale. However, there exist reports from studies in which sub-millisecond resolutions were achieved. [4] [5] [6]

Related Research Articles

Mass spectrometry (MS) is an analytical technique that is used to measure the mass-to-charge ratio of ions. The results are presented as a mass spectrum, a plot of intensity as a function of the mass-to-charge ratio. Mass spectrometry is used in many different fields and is applied to pure samples as well as complex mixtures.

Ion source Device that creates charged atoms and molecules (ions)

An ion source is a device that creates atomic and molecular ions. Ion sources are used to form ions for mass spectrometers, optical emission spectrometers, particle accelerators, ion implanters and ion engines.

Electrospray ionization Technique used in mass spectroscopy

Electrospray ionization (ESI) is a technique used in mass spectrometry to produce ions using an electrospray in which a high voltage is applied to a liquid to create an aerosol. It is especially useful in producing ions from macromolecules because it overcomes the propensity of these molecules to fragment when ionized. ESI is different from other ionization processes since it may produce multiple-charged ions, effectively extending the mass range of the analyser to accommodate the kDa-MDa orders of magnitude observed in proteins and their associated polypeptide fragments.

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization

In mass spectrometry, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) is an ionization technique that uses a laser energy absorbing matrix to create ions from large molecules with minimal fragmentation. It has been applied to the analysis of biomolecules and various organic molecules, which tend to be fragile and fragment when ionized by more conventional ionization methods. It is similar in character to electrospray ionization (ESI) in that both techniques are relatively soft ways of obtaining ions of large molecules in the gas phase, though MALDI typically produces far fewer multi-charged ions.

Desorption electrospray ionization

Desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) is an ambient ionization technique that can be coupled to mass spectrometry (MS) for chemical analysis of samples at atmospheric conditions. Coupled ionization sources-MS systems are popular in chemical analysis because the individual capabilities of various sources combined with different MS systems allow for chemical determinations of samples. DESI employs a fast-moving charged solvent stream, at an angle relative to the sample surface, to extract analytes from the surfaces and propel the secondary ions toward the mass analyzer. This tandem technique can be used to analyze forensics analyses, pharmaceuticals, plant tissues, fruits, intact biological tissues, enzyme-substrate complexes, metabolites and polymers. Therefore, DESI-MS may be applied in a wide variety of sectors including food and drug administration, pharmaceuticals, environmental monitoring, and biotechnology.

Robert Graham Cooks is the Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the Aston Laboratories for Mass Spectrometry at Purdue University. He is an ISI Highly Cited Chemist, with over 1,000 publications and an H-index of 134.

Matrix-assisted laser desorption electrospray ionization

Matrix-assisted laser desorption electrospray ionization (MALDESI) was first introduced in 2006 as a novel ambient ionization technique which combines the benefits of electrospray ionization (ESI) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI). An infrared (IR) or ultraviolet (UV) laser can be utilized in MALDESI to resonantly excite an endogenous or exogenous matrix. The term ‘matrix’ refers to any molecule that is present in large excess and absorbs the energy of the laser, thus facilitating desorption of analyte molecules. The original MALDESI design was implemented using common organic matrices, similar to those used in MALDI, along with a UV laser. The current MALDESI source employs endogenous water or a thin layer of exogenously deposited ice as the energy-absorbing matrix where O-H symmetric and asymmetric stretching bonds are resonantly excited by a mid-IR laser.

Ion-mobility spectrometry–mass spectrometry

Ion mobility spectrometry–mass spectrometry (IMS-MS) is an analytical chemistry method that separates gas phase ions based on their interaction with a collision gas and their masses. In the first step, the ions are separated according to their mobility through a buffer gas on a millisecond timescale using an ion mobility spectrometer. The separated ions are then introduced into a mass analyzer in a second step where their mass-to-charge ratios can be determined on a microsecond timescale. The effective separation of analytes achieved with this method makes it widely applicable in the analysis of complex samples such as in proteomics and metabolomics.

Desorption atmospheric pressure photoionization

Desorption atmospheric pressure photoionization (DAPPI) is an ambient ionization technique for mass spectrometry that uses hot solvent vapor for desorption in conjunction with photoionization. Ambient Ionization techniques allow for direct analysis of samples without pretreatment. The direct analysis technique, such as DAPPI, eliminates the extraction steps seen in most nontraditional samples. DAPPI can be used to analyze bulkier samples, such as, tablets, powders, resins, plants, and tissues. The first step of this technique utilizes a jet of hot solvent vapor. The hot jet thermally desorbs the sample from a surface. The vaporized sample is then ionized by the vacuum ultraviolet light and consequently sampled into a mass spectrometer. DAPPI can detect a range of both polar and non-polar compounds, but is most sensitive when analyzing neutral or non-polar compounds. This technique also offers a selective and soft ionization for highly conjugated compounds.

Capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry

Capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry (CE-MS) is an analytical chemistry technique formed by the combination of the liquid separation process of capillary electrophoresis with mass spectrometry. CE-MS combines advantages of both CE and MS to provide high separation efficiency and molecular mass information in a single analysis. It has high resolving power and sensitivity, requires minimal volume and can analyze at high speed. Ions are typically formed by electrospray ionization, but they can also be formed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization or other ionization techniques. It has applications in basic research in proteomics and quantitative analysis of biomolecules as well as in clinical medicine. Since its introduction in 1987, new developments and application has made CE-MS powerful separation and identification technique. Use of CE-MS has increased for protein and peptides analysis and other biomolecules. However, the development of online CE-MS is not without challenges. Understanding of CE, the interface setup, ionization technique and mass detection system is important to tackle problems while coupling capillary electrophoresis to mass spectrometry.

Ambient ionization

Ambient ionization is a form of ionization in which ions are formed in an ion source outside the mass spectrometer without sample preparation or separation. Ions can be formed by extraction into charged electrospray droplets, thermally desorbed and ionized by chemical ionization, or laser desorbed or ablated and post-ionized before they enter the mass spectrometer.

Protein footprinting is a term used to refer to a method of biochemical analysis that investigates protein structure, assembly, and interactions within a larger macromolecular assembly. It was originally coined in reference to the use of limited proteolysis to investigate contact sites within a monoclonal antibody - protein antigen complex and a year later to examine the protection from hydroxyl radical cleavage conferred by a protein bound to DNA within a DNA-protein complex. In DNA footprinting the protein is envisioned to make an imprint at a particular point of interaction. This latter method was adapted through the direct treatment of proteins and their complexes with hydroxyl radicals and can be generally denoted RP-MS.

Instrumental chemistry Study of analytes using scientific instruments

Instrumental analysis is a field of analytical chemistry that investigates analytes using scientific instruments.

Kevin Downard is a British - Australian academic scientist whose research specialises in the improving responses to infectious disease through the application and development of mass spectrometry and other molecular approaches in the life and medical sciences. Downard has 35 years of experience in the field and has written over 115 lead-author scientific peer-reviewed journal publications, over 150 conference proceedings, and two books including a textbook for the Royal Society of Chemistry and the first book to be published on the role of mass spectrometry in the study of protein interactions.

Laser ablation electrospray ionization

Laser ablation electrospray ionization (LAESI) is an ambient ionization method for mass spectrometry that combines laser ablation from a mid-infrared (mid-IR) laser with a secondary electrospray ionization (ESI) process. The mid-IR laser is used to generate gas phase particles which are then ionized through interactions with charged droplets from the ESI source. LAESI was developed in Professor Akos Vertes lab by Dr. Peter Nemes in 2007 and is was marketed commercially by Protea Biosciences, Inc until 2017. Fiber-LAESI for single-cell analysis approach was developed by Dr. Bindesh Shrestha in Professor Vertes lab in 2009. LAESI is a novel ionization source for mass spectrometry (MS) that has been used to perform MS imaging of plants, tissues, cell pellets, and even single cells. In addition, LAESI has been used to analyze historic documents and untreated biofluids such as urine and blood. The technique of LAESI is performed at atmospheric pressure and therefore overcomes many of the obstacles of traditional MS techniques, including extensive and invasive sample preparation steps and the use of high vacuum. Because molecules and aerosols are ionized by interacting with an electrospray plume, LAESI's ionization mechanism is similar to SESI and EESI techniques.

Surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization

Surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization (SALDI) is a soft laser desorption technique used for mass spectrometry analysis of biomolecules, polymers, and small organic molecules. In its first embodiment Koichi Tanaka used a cobalt/glycerol liquid matrix and subsequent applications included a graphite/glycerol liquid matrix as well as a solid surface of porous silicon. The porous silicon represents the first matrix-free SALDI surface analysis allowing for facile detection of intact molecular ions, these porous silicon surfaces also facilitated the analysis of small molecules at the yoctomole level. At present laser desorption/ionization methods using other inorganic matrices such as nanomaterials are often regarded as SALDI variants. As an example, silicon nanowires as well as Titania nanotube arrays (NTA) have been used as substrates to detect small molecules. SALDI is used to detect proteins and protein-protein complexes. A related method named "ambient SALDI" - which is a combination of conventional SALDI with ambient mass spectrometry incorporating the direct analysis real time (DART) ion source has also been demonstrated. SALDI is considered one of the most important techniques in MS and has many applications.

Chen Yu-chie is a Taiwanese chemist and is a Professor of Chemistry in the National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan. She received her Ph.D. from Montana State University.

Atmospheric pressure photoionization Soft ionization method

Atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI) is a soft ionization method used in mass spectrometry (MS) usually coupled to liquid chromatography (LC). Molecules are ionized using a vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) light source operating at atmospheric pressure, either by direct absorption followed by electron ejection or through ionization of a dopant molecule that leads to chemical ionization of target molecules. The sample is usually a solvent spray that is vaporized by nebulization and heat. The benefit of APPI is that it ionizes molecules across a broad range of polarity and is particularly useful for ionization of low polarity molecules for which other popular ionization methods such as electrospray ionization (ESI) and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) are less suitable. It is also less prone to ion suppression and matrix effects compared to ESI and APCI and typically has a wide linear dynamic range. The application of APPI with LC/MS is commonly used for analysis of petroleum compounds, pesticides, steroids, and drug metabolites lacking polar functional groups and is being extensively deployed for ambient ionization particularly for explosives detection in security applications.

Paper spray ionization is a technique used in mass spectrometry to produce ions from a sample to be analyzed. It is a variant of electrospray ionization. The sample is applied to a piece of paper and solvent is added. Then a high voltage is applied, which creates the ions to be analyzed with a mass spectrometer. The method, first described in 2010, is relatively easy to use and can detect and measure the presence of various substances in the sample. This technique shows great potential for point-of-care clinical applications, in that important tests may be run and results obtained within a reasonable amount of time in proximity to the patient in a single visit.


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