ABSTRACT: The feasibility of electrospray (ES) ionization of aerosols generated by electrosurgical disintegration methods was investigated. Although electrosurgery itself was demonstrated to produce gaseous ions, post-ionization methods were implemented to enhance the ion yield, especially in those cases when the ion current produced by the applied electrosurgical method is not sufficient for MS analysis. Post-ionization was implemented by mounting an ES emitter onto a Venturi pump, which is used for ion transfer. The effect of various parameters including geometry, high voltage setting, flow parameters, and solvent composition was investigated in detail. Experimental setups were optimized accordingly. ES post-ionization was found to yield spectra similar to those obtained by the REIMS technique, featuring predominantly lipid-type species. Signal enhancement was 20- to 50-fold compared with electrosurgical disintegration in positive mode, while no improvement was observed in negative mode. ES post-ionization was also demonstrated to allow the detection of non-lipid type species in the electrosurgical aerosol, including drug molecules. Since the tissue specificity of the MS data was preserved in the ES post-ionization setup, feasibility of tissue identification was demonstrated using different electrosurgical methods.
Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry 09/2011; 22(11):2082-9. · 4.00 Impact Factor