skip to main content


Title: Large-scale metabolite analysis of standards and human serum by laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry from silicon nanopost arrays

The unique challenges presented by metabolomics have driven the development of new mass spectrometry (MS)-based techniques for small molecule analysis. We have previously demonstrated silicon nanopost arrays (NAPA) to be an effective substrate for laser desorption ionization (LDI) of small molecules for MS. However, the utility of NAPA-LDI-MS for a wide range of metabolite classes has not been investigated. Here we apply NAPA-LDI-MS to the large-scale acquisition of high-resolution mass spectra and tandem mass spectra from a collection of metabolite standards covering a range of compound classes including amino acids, nucleotides, carbohydrates, xenobiotics, lipids, and other classes. In untargeted analysis of metabolite standard mixtures, detection was achieved for 374 compounds and useful MS/MS spectra were obtained for 287 compounds, without individual optimization of ionization or fragmentation conditions. Metabolite detection was evaluated in the context of 31 metabolic pathways, and NAPA-LDI-MS was found to provide detection for 63% of investigated pathway metabolites. Individual, targeted analysis of the 20 common amino acids provided detection of 100% of the investigated compounds, demonstrating that improved coverage is possible through optimization and targeting of individual analytes or analyte classes. In direct analysis of aqueous and organic extracts from human serum samples, spectral features were assignedmore » to a total of 108 small metabolites and lipids. Glucose and amino acids were quantitated within their physiological concentration ranges. Finally, the broad coverage demonstrated by this large-scale screening experiment opens the door for use of NAPA-LDI-MS in numerous metabolite analysis applications« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. George Washington Univ., Washington, DC (United States)
  2. Protea Biosciences, Inc., Morgantown, WV (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-01ER15129; W911NF-14-2-0020
Published Article
Journal Name:
Analytical Chemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 88; Journal Issue: 18; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-2700
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
George Washington Univ., Washington, DC (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1326648