Matrix-free laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry using self-assembled germanium nanodots.
ABSTRACT A novel ionization platform for matrix-free laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry (LDI-MS) was developed using self-assembled germanium nanodots (GeNDs) of uniform size (approximately 150 - 200-nm width and approximately 50-nm height) grown on a silicon wafer produced by molecular beam epitaxy. The performance of LDI-MS using GeNDs (GeND-MS) was investigated through measurements of a broad range of analytes, including peptides, proteins, synthetic oligomers, and polymer additives. Mass spectra of tryptic digests were clearly observed even for the mass range lower than m/z 800 without obstructive peaks. A detection limit of subfemtomole level was achieved for angiotensin-I. The upper limit of detectable mass range was approximately 17 kDa (myoglobin). GeND-MS also has potential for application to the characterization of industrial compounds. Almost accurate molecular weight distribution was obtained for a nonionic surfactant (Triton X-100) and for poly(ethylene glycol) oligomer. Furthermore, a brominated flame retardant, tetrabromobisphenol-A bis(2,3-dibromopropyl ether), was successfully ionized with less fragmentation, a result not obtainable by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry or desorption/ionization on porous silicon-mass spectrometry.
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ABSTRACT: Laser Desorption Ionization Mass Spectrometry employs matrix which is co-crystallised with the analyte to achieve "soft ionization" that is the formation of ions without fragmentation. A variety of matrix-free and matrix-assisted LDI techniques and matrices have been reported to date. LDI has been achieved using ultra fine metal powders (UFMPs), desorption ionisation on silicon (DIOS), sol-gel assisted laser desorption/ionization (SGALDI), as well as with common MALDI matrices such as 2,5-dihydroxy benzoic acid (DHB), 3,5-dimethoxy-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (SA), alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (CHCA) to name a few. A variety of matrix additives have been shown to improve matrix assisted desorption, including silicon nanowires (SiNW), carbon nanotubes (CNT), metal nanoparticles and nanodots. To our knowledge no evidence exists for the application of highly fluorescent CdSe/ZnS quantum dots to enhance MALDI desorption of biological samples. Here we report that although CdSe/ZnS quantum dots on their own can not substitute matrix in MALDI-MS, their presence has a moderately positive effect on MALDI desorption, improves the signal-to-noise ratio, peak quality and increases the number of detected peptides and the overall sequence coverage.Journal of Nanobiotechnology 01/2009; 7:10. · 5.09 Impact Factor