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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2013 Sep;24(9):1428-36.

Extending the dynamic range of the ion trap by differential mobility filtration.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and Barnett Institute, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


A miniature, planar, differential ion mobility spectrometer (DMS) was interfaced to an LCQ classic ion trap to conduct selective ion filtration prior to mass analysis in order to extend the dynamic range of the trap. Space charge effects are known to limit the functional ion storage capacity of ion trap mass analyzers and this, in turn, can affect the quality of the mass spectral data generated. This problem is further exacerbated in the analysis of mixtures where the indiscriminate introduction of matrix ions results in premature trap saturation with non-targeted species, thereby reducing the number of parent ions that may be used to conduct MS/MS experiments for quantitation or other diagnostic studies. We show that conducting differential mobility-based separations prior to mass analysis allows the isolation of targeted analytes from electrosprayed mixtures preventing the indiscriminate introduction of matrix ions and premature trap saturation with analytically unrelated species. Coupling these two analytical techniques is shown to enhance the detection of a targeted drug metabolite from a biological matrix. In its capacity as a selective ion filter, the DMS can improve the analytical performance of analyzers such as quadrupole (3D or linear) and ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) ion traps that depend on ion accumulation.

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