Multiple Time-of-Flight/Time-of-Flight Events in a Single Laser Shot for Improved Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry Quantification
- PMID: 27573922 [PubMed].
Quantitative matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI TOF) approaches have historically suffered from poor accuracy and precision mainly due to the nonuniform distribution of matrix and analyte across the target surface, matrix interferences, and ionization suppression. Tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) can be used to ensure chemical specificity as well as improve signal-to-noise ratios by eliminating interferences from chemical noise, alleviating some concerns about dynamic range. However, conventional MALDI TOF/TOF modalities typically only scan for a single MS/MS event per laser shot, and multiplex assays require sequential analyses. We describe here new methodology that allows for multiple TOF/TOF fragmentation events to be performed in a single laser shot. This technology allows the reference of analyte intensity to that of the internal standard in each laser shot, even when the analyte and internal standard are quite disparate in m/z, thereby improving quantification while maintaining chemical specificity and duty cycle. In the quantitative analysis of the drug enalapril in pooled human plasma with ramipril as an internal standard, a greater than 4-fold improvement in relative standard deviation (<10%) was observed as well as improved coefficients of determination (R) and accuracy (>85% quality controls). Using this approach we have also performed simultaneous quantitative analysis of three drugs (promethazine, enalapril, and verapamil) using deuterated analogues of these drugs as internal standards.