, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 346–353 | Cite as

Negative mode nanostructure-initiator mass spectrometry for detection of phosphorylated metabolites

  • Andrea Amantonico
  • Luca Flamigni
  • Reto Glaus
  • Renato Zenobi
Original Article


The chemical complexity of the metabolome requires the development of new detection methods to enlarge the range of compounds detectable in a biological sample. Recently, a novel matrix-free laser desorption/ionization method called nanostructure-initiator mass spectrometry (NIMS) [Northen et al., Nature 449(7165):1033–1036, 2007] was reported. Here we investigate NIMS in negative ion mode for the detection of endogenous metabolites, namely small phosphorylated molecules. 3-Aminopropyldimethylethoxysilane was found to be suitable as initiator for the analytes studied and a limit of detection in the tens of femtomoles was reached. The detection of different endogenous cell metabolites in a yeast cell extract is demonstrated.


Laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry Phosphorylated metabolites Nucleotide detection Nanostructure initiator mass spectrometry Porous silicon 



We thank Jennifer Ewald, Benjamin Volkmer and Dr. Matthias Heinemann from the Institute of Molecular System Biology for the yeast cultivation, metabolism quenching, and metabolites extraction. We also thank Dr. Frank Krumeich for the SEM measurements. This work was supported by the ETH-INIT “Single cell metabolomics” project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Amantonico
    • 1
  • Luca Flamigni
    • 1
  • Reto Glaus
    • 1
  • Renato Zenobi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Applied BiosciencesETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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