Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 407, Issue 16, pp 4513–4522 | Cite as

Determining fatty acids by desorption/ionization mass spectrometry using thin-layer chromatography substrates

  • Mario F. Mirabelli
  • Giuseppe Coviello
  • Dietrich A. VolmerEmail author
Rapid Communication
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Mass Spectrometry Imaging


In this study, we demonstrate the application of ambient mass spectrometry for measuring fatty acids from various biological sample matrices such as olive oil, fish oil, salmon, and human serum. Optimum performance was obtained after spotting samples onto thin-layer chromatography (TLC) plates as sample substrates for a custom-built solvent-assisted desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (DI-MS) interface. Good to excellent linearities (coefficients of determination, 0.9856 to 0.9977) and reproducibilities (average 6 % relative standard deviation (RSD) using syringe deposition) were obtained after application of an internal standard. Signal suppression phenomena were minimized by separating the analytes by TLC to some extent prior to DI-MS, leading to a fourfold increase of signal-to-noise ratios as compared to single spot mixture analysis without TLC separation.

Graphical Abstract

Solvent-assisted desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry


Ambient ionization Desorption/ionization mass spectrometry Thin-layer chromatography Fatty acids 



GC acknowledges a fellowship from Rotary International (District 2120, Molfetta, Bari, Italy) for his research visit to Saarbrücken. The authors acknowledge Chemia s.r.l. (Bironto, Bari, Italy) for the GC analyses. DAV is grateful for general research support by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach-Stiftung.

Supplementary material

216_2015_8630_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (381 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 381 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario F. Mirabelli
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Coviello
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dietrich A. Volmer
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Bioanalytical ChemistrySaarland UniversitySaarbrückenGermany
  2. 2.Ospedale Specializzato in Gastroenterologia, Saverio de BellisCastellana GrotteItaly

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