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Title: Novel surfaces for MALDI-MS
Author: Lai-Rowcroft, Lindsay Ling Gi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 5494
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2013
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Matrix assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) for small molecule analysis has been plagued with inherent problems associated with matrix interference. The matrix plays an important role in MALDI-MS where it has the ability to absorb UV energy from the laser employed and transfer it to the analyte, acts as a proton donor and protecting the analytes from being obliterated. For decades, research has been performed to eradicate matrix interference by matrix avoidance, finding alternative matrices, suppression through sample preparation methods and via chemical modification.In this investigation a number of the above mentioned approaches have been undertaken. First, a mesoporous silica powder, SBA-16, functionalised with a phenyl group to absorb UV from the MALDI-MS laser gave unfruitful results due to inhomogeneous dispersion of the SBA-16 powder. Therefore the same material was prepared but as a thin film and a homogeneously coated surface was generated with the phenyl group incorporated into the silica and this was compared with a conventional matrix, 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHB). This was by far the most sensitive method which was accurate, with little background noise and importantly for small molecule analysis clear of matrix interference. Other surface systems were also tested such as graphene on copper and silver on copper, but the functionalised SBA-16 thin film remained the best. Graphite and 2B pencil were also investigated for MALDI-MS but were compared with conventional matrices (DHB and α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (CHCA)) in a functional genomics study. The ability of all methods to find subtle phenotypic differences in various yeast strains was assessed with the help of multivariate data analysis (MVDA). Although DHB came out best, 2B pencil produce notably good separations that correlated nicely with the different genotypes. Therefore in addition to conventional matrices, 2B pencil should be considered for functional genomic studies when MALDI-MS is used as it is such a rapid and inexpensive method. Finally, chemical modifications were performed on amino acids where picolinic acid was used to attach a chromophore to the compounds, therefore, allowing UV absorption from the laser. Upon attaching the picolinate UV absorbing group, the amino acid compounds were detected LC-MS at an increased intensity of 10 to 100-fold. Moreover, enhanced separation in LC-MS was also observed.This project has successfully investigated alternative approaches to matrix-free MALDI-MS analysis. Functionalised SBA-16 thin films were by far the best method and this novel surface for MALDI-MS has the potential to transform small molecule analysis.
Supervisor: Anderson, Michael; Goodacre, Roy Sponsor: EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: MALDI-MS ; Novel surfaces ; Mesoporous