A thin chip microsprayer system coupled to Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry for glycopeptide screening


  • These authors contributed equally to this work.


A thin polymer microchip was coupled with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) 9.4 T mass spectrometer and the method was optimized in negative ion mode for glycopeptide screening. The interface between the polymer microchip and FTICR mass spectrometer consists of an in-laboratory conceived and designed mounting system that exhibits robust and controllable alignment of the chip toward the inlet of the mass spectrometer. The particular attribute of the polymer chip coupled to the FTICR mass spectrometer, to achieve an increase in ionization efficiency and sensitivity under the premise of high mass accuracy of detection, is highlighted by the large number of major and minor glycopeptide structures detected and identified in highly heterogeneous mixtures obtained from urine matrices. Glycoforms expressing various saccharide chain lengths ranging from tri- to dodecasaccharide, bearing up to three sialic acid moieties, could be detected and assigned based on the accuracy of the mass measurement (average mass deviation below 6 ppm) of their molecular ions. (–)Thin chipESI-FTICRMS is a potent novel system for glycomic screening of complex mixtures, as demonstrated for identification of singly sialylated O-glycosylated amino acids and peptides from urine matrices, and could be considered for general applicability in the glycoanalytical field. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.