Using oxidized carbon nanotubes as matrix for analysis of small molecules by MALDI-TOF MS

Abstract

Oxidized carbon nanotubes are tested as a matrix for analysis of small molecules by matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). Compared with nonoxidized carbon nanotubes, oxidized carbon nanotubes facilitate sample preparation because of their higher solubility in water. The matrix layer of oxidized carbon nanotubes is much more homogeneous and compact than that of nonoxidized carbon nanotubes. The efficiency of desorption/ionization for analytes and the reproducibility of peak intensities within and between sample spots are greatly enhanced on the surface of oxidized carbon nanotubes. The advantage of the oxidized carbon nanotubes in comparison with α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (CCA) and carbon nanotubes is demonstrated by MALDI-TOF-MS analysis of an amino acid mixture. The matrix is successfully used for analysis of synthetic hydroxypropyl β-cyclodextrin, suggesting a great potential for monitoring reactions and for product quality control. Reliable quantitative analysis of jatrorrhizine and palmatine with a wide linear range (1–100 ng/mL) and good reproducibility of relative peak areas (RSD less than 10%) is achieved using this matrix. Concentrations of jatrorrhizine (8.65 mg/mL) and palmatine (10.4 mg/mL) in an extract of Coptis chinensis Franch are determined simultaneously using the matrix and a standard addition method.

Published online April 15, 2005