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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2006 Sep;386(1):24-37. Epub 2006 Jul 8.

Ionic (liquid) matrices for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry-applications and perspectives.

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  • 1Technische Biochemie, Geb. 1.5, Universit├Ąt des Saarlandes, 66123 Saarbr├╝cken, Germany.


A large number of matrix substances have been used for various applications in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS). The majority of matrices applied in ultraviolet-MALDI MS are crystalline, low molecular weight compounds. A problem encountered with many of these matrices is the formation of hot spots, which lead to inhomogeneous samples, thus leading to increased measurement times and hampering the application of MALDI MS for quantitative purposes. Recently, ionic (liquid) matrices (ILM or IM) have been introduced as a potential alternative to the classical crystalline matrices. ILM are equimolar mixtures of conventional MALDI matrix compounds such as 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHB), alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (CCA) or sinapinic acid (SA) together with organic bases [e.g., pyridine (Py), tributylamine (TBA) or N,N-dimethylethylenediamine (DMED)]. The present article presents a first overview of this new class of matrices. Characteristic properties of ILM, their influence on mass spectrometric parameters such as sensitivity, resolution and adduct formation and their application in the fields of proteome analysis, the measurement of low molecular weight compounds, the use of MALDI MS for quantitative purposes and in MALDI imaging will be presented. Scopes and limitations for the application of ILM are discussed.

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