Novel labeling reagents, called MS probes, which possess a positively charged quaternary amine moiety and can transform a neutral analyte into a charged compound by simply mixing with the analyte and allowing the mixture to stand from several minutes to 30 min at room temperature or while heating to 50°C, were designed and synthesized for the highly sensitive detection of carbonyl, alcohol, carboxylic acid and primary amine samples by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), The positively charged products can be detected with high sensitivity in an ESI-MS system, which is the most popular liquid MS instrument. All of the labeled products showed a remarkably large increase in the molecular-ion peak abundance detection sensitivity of over 500-fold at picomolar concentration levels compared to that of unlabeled analytes in an ESI-MS system. These MS probes, used together with liquid MS detection, are widely applicable as a convenient method for the highly sensitive detection of less than picomolar levels of analytes, and therefore greatly enhance the power of ESI-MS analysis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry