Volume 6 (2017) Issue 3 Pages S0072
Although matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry is one of the most widely used soft ionization methods for biomolecules, the lack of detailed understanding of ionization mechanisms restricts its application in the analysis of carbohydrates. Structural identification of carbohydrates achieved by MALDI mass spectrometry helps us to gain insights into biological functions and pathogenesis of disease. In this review, we highlight mechanistic details of MALDI, including both ionization and desorption. Strategies to improve the ion yield of carbohydrates are also reviewed. Furthermore, commonly used fragmentation methods to identify the structure are discussed.