In this paper, we briefly review the remote mass spectrometric techniques that are viable to perform “endoscopic mass spectrometry,” i.e., in-situ and in-vivo MS analysis inside the cavity of human or animal body. We also report our experience with a moving string sampling probe for the remote sample collection and the transportation of adhered sample to an ion source near the mass spectrometer. With a miniaturization of the probe, the method described here has the potential to be fit directly into a medical endoscope.
We compared two ionization methods, matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) and nanoparticle assisted laser desorption/ionization (Nano-PALDI) mass spectrometry (MS), for the analysis of amino acids derivatized with Py-Tag™ that consists pyrylium-based compound. Py-Tag is a useful stable derivatization reagent due to wide mass differences (using 13C as the sole stable labelling isotope). For Py-Tag labelled lysine, sensitive signals that showed less noise with a ten times higher sensitivity, showed a wider mass difference by Nano-PALDI MS compared to MALDI MS.
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