This invention enables a sensitivity enhancement in the detection of molecular compounds. A mass spectrometry analyte support with nanotube anchors are used to concentrate MALDI samples prepared with water-insoluble matrix compounds on the anchor spot. A matrix solution mixed with analyte molecules is spotted onto a specialized MALDI plate using carbon nanotubes to selectively nucleate the analyte. The spot diameter of the target is usually several orders of magnitude larger than traditional supports, and led to lateral concentration for non-aqueous based matrices and produced a final dried matrix/analyte spot that was approximately the diameter of the laser spot at the point of investigation. The carbon nanotubes enhance nucleation on specific areas of a sample plate to concentrate analyte/matrix deposit during droplet evaporation, and demonstrate an increase in signal to noise ratio and an improved detection capability of low analyte concentrations compared to the standard MALDI preparation technique.
Schlaf, Rudiger and Schumacher, Joshua, "Carbon nanotube anchor for mass spectrometer" (2018). USF Patents. 1065.
University of South Florida