MALDI Mass Spectrometry
The mechanism(s) in MALDI is/are still not fully understood. Current models still leave room for mechanistic interpretation. We are studying the MALDI mechanism(s) using a unique lab-built internal MALDI source coupled to an FT-ICR instrument. The setup offers advantages in the trapping/detection of unstable species formed immediately after laser impact, as well as the simultaneous detection of negative and positive ions, which is highly advantageous in seeking a unified mechanism for MALDI. The better understanding of ionization mechanisms can ultimately allow to extend this knowledge to routine analysis and to have better control to enhance the sensitivity of MALDI for the detection of analytes of interest. Moreover, the influence of the target substrate on the desorption process and thus on the maximum ion yield is of high interest for the mechansitic interpretation (fig.1, exemplary for copper in neg ion mode).
Current Scientific projects
Single cell analysis. We have developed a MALDI-MS based population screening method with single cell resolution. The challenge when it comes to analyzing metabolites from single cells is the extremly small sample amount, which can only be sucessfully analyzed by highly sensitive methods. Using MALDI-MS, mass spectra can be collected from cells that are separated by individual target wells.
Biotechnological process monitoring. We develop a novel high-throughput method based on MALDI time-of-flight mass spectrometry to monitor mammalian cell-based biotechonological processes.
MALDI mechanism(s). A focus of our research is elucidating the underlying mechanisms by systematically studying the influence of many experimental parameters, e.g. the substrate material’s conductive properties and the influence on the ion yield for negative and positive polarities by means of MALDI-Time-of-Flight and -Fourier-Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance mass spectrometry.