Desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) is a recent and important advance in the field that has extensive applications in surface analysis of solid samples but has also been extended to analysis of liquid samples. The liquid sample DESI typically employs a piece of fused silica capillary to transfer liquid sample for ionization. In this study, we present the improvement of liquid sample DESI-MS by replacing the sample transfer silica capillary with a trap column filled with chromatographic stationary phase materials (e.g., C4, C18). This type of trap column/liquid sample DESI can be used for trace analysis of organics and biomolecules such as proteins/peptides (in nM concentration) in high salt content matrices. Furthermore, when the sample transfer capillary is modified with enzyme covalently bound on its inside capillary wall, fast digestion (<6 min) of proteins such as phosphoproteins can be achieved and the online digested proteins can be directly ionized using DESI with high sensitivity. The latter is ascribed to the freedom to select favorable spray solvent for the DESI analysis. Our data show that liquid sample DESI-MS with a modified sample transfer capillary has significantly expanded utility in bioanalysis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Desalting and enrichment
- Desorption electrospray ionization
- Mass spectrometry
- Online enzyme digestion