Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 22840704
Link to DOI – 10.1016/j.aca.2012.06.037
Anal Chim Acta 2012 Sep; 741(): 47-57
We report on the simple deposition of Stöber silica nanoparticles (SiO(2) NPs) on conventional MALDI target plate for high throughput laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS) analyses of peptide mixtures with sensitivity in the femtomolar range. This low-cost easily prepared material allowed straightforward LDI experiments by deposition of the studied samples directly onto a pre-spotted MALDI plate. This analytical strategy can be performed in any laboratory equipped with a MALDI-TOF instrument. All key benefits of organic matrix-free technologies were satisfied while maintaining a high level of detection performances (sensitivity and reproducibility/repeatability). In particular, sample preparation was simple and detection in the low mass range was not hampered by matrix ions. Imaging studies were undertaken to query sample dispersion into the inert SiO(2) NPs and to help into the search of the best experimental conditions producing homogeneous analyte distribution within the deposit. In contrast to commercial disposable LDI targets designed for single use and requiring an adaptor such as NALDI™, the proposed SiO(2) NPs pre-spotting on a MALDI target plate allowed very easily switching between MALDI and LDI experiments. They can be conducted either simultaneously (positions with an organic matrix or SiO(2) NPs) or in the row (support prepared in advance, stored and washed after use). The overall cost and versatility of the methodology made it very attractive to MALDI users in many domains (peptidomics, proteomics, metabolomics).