Fundamental Mass Spectrometry and Eicosanoids Research

  • Robert C. Murphy
  • Keith L. Clay
  • Joseph A. Zirrolli
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 177)


Mass spectrometry is an instrument based technique in which the interaction of ions in a vacuum are studied with magnetic and/or electrical fields. The behavior and motion of ions is quite predictable based upon the mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) of the ions and this forms the basis of the mass spectrometric experiment. The first studies in this area were carried out by J.J. Thompson in England close to the turn of the century which lead to his discovery of isotopes of elements. Later experiments by Aston, Dempster as well as many others lead to the development of the fundamental theory of modern instrumentation for mass spectrometry. Mass spectrometry is an exceedingly versatile technique which can provide fundamental information of great value in many disciplines and has been applied directly to virtually all areas of science including biology, chemistry, and physics. Some of the first experiments involving mass spectrometry applied to biology, involved using the quantitative nature of the information which can be obtained. In these studies, Rittenberg used stable isotopes as tracers in order to study the biochemistry of amino acids (1). Fred McLafferty in the mid 1950s illustrated the usefulness of fragmentation of organic ions and was able to deduce the structures of biological substances based upon mass spectrometry (2). These concepts were quickly applied to extremely complex molecules as illustrated by the work of Klaus Biemann in the late 1950s and early 1960s in which he elegantly demonstrated the ability of mass spectrometry to provide data necessary for the structure elucidation of complex natural products (3).


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    D. Rittenberg, 1948, Dynamic aspects of the metabolism of amino acids. Harvey Lectures, pp. 200–220 (1948).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    F.W. McLafferty, Mass spectrometric analysis. Broad applicability to chemical research, Anal. Chem. 28: 306 (1956).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    K. Biemann, “Mass Spectrometry: Organic Chemical Applications,” McGraw-Hill, New York (1962).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    B. Samuelsson, M. Goldyne, E. Granstrom, M. Hamberg, S. Hammarstrom, and C. Malmsten, Prostaglandins and thromboxanes, Ann. Rev. Biochem., 47: 997 (1978).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    C.C. Sweeley, W. Elliot, I. Fries, and R. Ryhage, Mass spectrometric determination of unresolved components in gas chromatographic effluents, Anal. Chem. 38: 1549 (1966).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    B. Sundquist and R.D. MacFarlane, 252Cf-Plasma desorption mass spectrometry. Mass Spectrom. Rev. 4: 421 (1985).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    A.G. Craig, A. Engstrom, A. Benick, and P.I. Kamensky, Enhancement of molecule ion yields in plasma desorption mass spectrometry, Proc. Ann. Conf. Mass Spectrom. 35: 528 (1987).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    P.L. Peirce, K.M. Hambidge, C.H. Goss, L.V. Miller, and P.V. Fennessey, Fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry for the determination of zinc stable isotopes in biological samples, Anal. Chem., 59: 2034 (1987).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    A.G. Harrison, “Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry,” CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL (1983).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    M. Barber, R.S. Bordeli, R.D. Sedwick, and A.N. Tyler, Fast atom bombardment of solids as an ion source in mass spectrometry, Nature, 293: 270 (1981).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    J.T. Watson, “Introduction to Mass Spectrometry,” Raven Press, 2nd Ed., New York (1985).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    R.R. Freeman, “High Resolution Gas Chromatography,” Hewlett-Packard, Palo Alto, CA (1981).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert C. Murphy
    • 1
  • Keith L. Clay
    • 1
  • Joseph A. Zirrolli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of Colorado Health Sciences CenterDenverUSA

Personalised recommendations