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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2002 Sep;13(9):1015-27.

Practical quantitative biomedical applications of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry.

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  • 1Ray Williams Biomedical Mass Spectrometry Facility, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS) is used to obtain fast and accurate determinations of molecular mass, but quantitative determinations are generally made by other techniques. In this study we illustrate the practical utility of automated MALDI-TOFMS as a tool for quantifying a diverse array of biomolecules covering an extensive molecular weight range, and present in biological extracts and fluids. Growth hormone was measured in rat pituitary tissue; insulin in human pancreatic tissue; homovanillic acid in human urine; and LVV-hemorphin-7, epinephrine and norepinephrine in human adrenal and pheochromocytoma tissues. Internal standards including compounds of similar molecular weight, structural analogs or isotopomers were incorporated into each analysis. We report on the current practical limitations of quantitative MALDI-TOFMS and highlight some of the potential benefits of this technique as a quantitative tool.

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