APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- Biological and chemical assays
- Selective metabolite analysis
- Increased sensitivity to detect targeted metabolites
- High selectivity to targeted metabolites
- Extremely sensitive and non-destructive analytical technique
Nanostructure-initiator Mass Spectrometry (NIMS) is a surface-based mass analysis technique that is used for rapid and sensitive analyses for a wide range of molecules and biological tissues. To address the need for designing mass spectrometry surfaces (ie: NIMS surfaces) for increased metabolite detection sensitivity and coverage and selective metabolite analysis, Trent R. Northen and Jian Gao of the Berkeley Lab have created a series of nanostructured NIMS substrates through electrochemical etching at a constant current for different etching durations. This technology can be applied to design NIMS surfaces with increased specificity to molecules of interest.
The researchers analyzed the surface morphologies of the NIMS substrates by scanning electron microscopy and spectroscopic ellipsometry. Pore dimensions and substrate porosity were linearly increased with the etching time, and a variety of analytes were deposited onto these NIMS surfaces through acoustic printing. Mass spectrometry imaging utilized to measure the analyte selectivity from these surfaces revealed pore size dependent analyte selectivity. The NIMS sensitivity of small molecule analytes (<2000 Daltons) was shown to increase with increased pore size and porosity of the NIMS surfaces, while the NIMS surfaces with small pores and low porosity demonstrated the highest sensitivity for the largest molecules examined. Additional details are provided in the researchers’ Analytical Chemistry publication, linked below.
This sensitive and non-destructive analytical method is an improvement over matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI), which uses a traditional preparation method and is often limited by the necessity of co-crystallization of the analyte in a matrix. Additionally, the MALDI sensitivity can be compromised by background noise due to the ionization of matrix molecules. In contrast, NIMS surface restructuring holds a significant role in the desorption/ionization process of both small and large analyte molecules and increases selectivity to targeted metabolites. Thus, surface morphologies of NIMS substrates are able to determine the substrate sensitivity of transferring intact molecules into gas phase ions.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: Proven principle
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Gao, J., Louie, K., Steinke, P., Bowen, B., de Radd, M., Zuckermann, R., Siuzdak, G., Northen, T. “Morphology-Driven Control of Metabolite Selectivity using Nanostructure-Initiator Mass Spectrometry,” Analytical Chemistry, 2017, 89, 6521-6526.
STATUS: Published U. S. Patent Application 15/899,923 (Publication No. 2018/0269052). Available for licensing or collaborative research.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
NIMS-based Multiplexed Enzymatic Assays EJIB-2926