Mass Discrimination in High-Mass MALDI-MS
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Weidmann, S., Mikutis, G., Barylyuk, K. et al. J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. (2013) 24: 1396. doi:10.1007/s13361-013-0686-x
- 479 Downloads
In high-mass matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS), the accessible m/z range is limited by the detector used. Therefore, special high-mass detectors based on ion conversion dynodes (ICDs) have been developed. Recently, we have found that mass bias may exist when such ICD detectors are used [Weidmann et al., Anal. Chem.85(6), 3425–3432 (2013)]. In this contribution, the mass-dependent response of an ICD detector was systematically studied, the response factors for proteins with molecular weights from 35.9 to 129.9 kDa were determined, and the reasons for mass bias were identified. Compared with commonly employed microchannel plate detectors, we found that the mass discrimination is less pronounced, although ions with higher masses are weakly favored when using an ICD detector. The relative response was found to depend on the laser power used for MALDI; low-mass ions are discriminated against with higher laser power. The effect of mutual ion suppression in dependence of the proteins used and their molar ratio is shown. Mixtures consisting of protein oligomers that only differ in mass show less mass discrimination than mixtures consisting of different proteins with similar masses. Furthermore, mass discrimination increases for molar ratios far from 1. Finally, we present clear guidelines that help to choose the experimental parameters such that the response measured matches the actual molar fraction as closely as possible.