ABSTRACT: Ambient mass spectrometry, pioneered with desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) technique, is of increasing interest in recent years. In this study, a corona discharge ionization source is adapted for direct surface desorption chemical ionization of compounds on various surfaces at atmospheric pressure. Ambient air, with about 60% relative humidity, is used as a reagent to generate primary ions such as H(3)O(+), which is then directed to impact the sample surface for desorption and ionization. Under experimental conditions, protonated or deprotonated molecules of analytes present on various samples are observed using positive or negative corona discharge. Fast detection of trace amounts of analytes present in pharmaceutical preparations, viz foods, skins and clothes has been demonstrated without any sample pretreatment. Taking the advantage of the gasless setup, powder samples such as amino acids and mixtures of pharmaceutical preparations are rapidly analyzed. Impurities such as sudan dyes in tomato sauce are detected semiquantitatively. Molecular markers (e.g. putrescine) for meat spoilage are successfully identified from an artificially spoiled fish sample. Chemical warfare agent stimulants, explosives and herbicides are directly detected from the skin samples and clothing exposed to these compounds. This provides a detection limit of sub-pg (S/N > or = 3) range in MS2. Metabolites and consumed chemicals such as glucose are detected successfully from human skins. Conclusively, surface desorption atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (DAPCI) mass spectrometry, without toxic chemical contamination, detects various compounds in complex matrices, showing promising applications for analyses of human related samples.
Journal of Mass Spectrometry 08/2007; 42(8):1045-56. · 3.27 Impact Factor