Kiel Network of Analytical Spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry

[2016-06-27]: Applications of MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry and 31P NMR Spectroscopy in Lipid Research

Jun 27, 2016 from 12:30 PM to 11:55 PM

Speaker: PD Dr. Jürgen Schiller

University of Leipzig

Medical Department

Institute of Medical Physics and Biophysics


Although matrix-assisted laser desorption and ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS) ‑ often but not exclusively coupled with a time-of-flight (TOF) mass analyzer ‑ is particularly established in the protein field, there is increasing evidence that MALDI MS is also very useful in lipid research: MALDI MS is fast, sensitive, tolerates sample impurities to a considerable extent and provides very simple mass spectra with (often) negligible fragmentation of the analyte. Additionally, MALDI mass spectrometers originally purchased for "proteomics" can be used also for lipids without the need of major system alterations.

After a short introduction into the method and the related ion-forming process, the MALDI mass spectrometric characteristics of some selected glycero-(phospho)-lipids will be discussed. Special attention will be paid to (a) the analysis of mixtures and (b) quantitative aspects of MALDI MS because this is normally considered to be the "weak" point of the method. Although the detailed role of the matrix is not yet completely clear, it will be also explicitly shown that the careful choice of the matrix is crucial in order to be able to detect all compounds of interest in a mixture. This is particularly important regarding the detection of less abundant compounds. In addition to MALDI MS, the advantages of high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to evaluate the quantitative compositions of complex mixtures (such as cell and tissue extracts) will be also discussed.

Two rather recent developments will be highlighted: "Imaging" MS is nowadays widely established and significant interest is paid in this context to the analysis of lipids because lipids ionize particularly well and are, thus, more sensitively detectable in tissue slices than other biomolecules such as proteins. It will also be shown that MALDI MS can be very easily combined with thin-layer chromatography (TLC) allowing the direct "rasterizing" of the TLC plate and the detection of lipids with a higher sensitivity than common staining protocols.





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