Lab-on-a-plate: Extending the functionality of MALDI-MS and LDI-MS targets



We review the literature that describes how (matrix-assisted) laser desorption/ionization (MA)LDI target plates can be used not only as sample supports, but beyond that: as functional parts of analytical protocols that incorporate detection by MALDI-MS or matrix-free LDI-MS. Numerous steps of analytical procedures can be performed directly on the (MA)LDI target plates prior to the ionization of analytes in the ion source of a mass spectrometer. These include homogenization, preconcentration, amplification, purification, extraction, digestion, derivatization, synthesis, separation, detection with complementary techniques, data storage, or other steps. Therefore, we consider it helpful to define the “lab-on-a-plate” as a format for carrying out extensive sample treatment as well as bioassays directly on (MA)LDI target plates. This review introduces the lab-on-plate approach and illustrates it with the aid of relevant examples from the scientific and patent literature. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., Mass Spec Rev 30:435–478, 2011