Sample preparation for MALDI mass spectrometry using an elastomeric device reversibly sealed on the MALDI target.
A new method for improving low-concentration sample recovery and reducing sample preparation steps in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) is presented. In the conventional approach, samples are typically desalted and/or concentrated with various techniques and deposited on the MALDI target as small droplets. In this work, we describe a new approach in which an elastomeric device is reversibly sealed on the MALDI target to form a multi-well plate with the MALDI target as the base of the plate. The new format allows a larger volume (5-200 microL) of samples to be deposited on each spot and a series of sample handling processes, including desalting and concentrating, to be performed directly on the MALDI target. Several advantages have been observed: (i) multiple sample transferring steps are avoided; (ii) recovery of low-concentration peptides during sample preparation is improved using a novel desalting method that utilizes the hydrophobic surface of the elastomeric device; and (iii) sequence coverage of the peptide mass fingerprinting map is improved using a novel method in which proteins are immobilized on the hydrophobic surface of the elastomeric device for in-well trypsin digestion, followed by desalting and concentrating the digestion products in the same well.
Chen, X; Murawski, A; Kuang, G; Sexton, DJ; Galbraith, W
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