Self-aliquoting microarray plates for accurate quantitative matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry

Martin Pabst, Stephan R. Fagerer, Rudolf Köhling, Simon K. Küster, Robert Steinhoff, Martin Badertscher, Fabian Wahl, Petra S. Dittrich, Konstantins Jefimovs, Renato Zenobi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) is a fast analysis tool employed for the detection of a broad range of analytes. However, MALDI-MS has a reputation of not being suitable for quantitative analysis. Inhomogeneous analyte/matrix co-crystallization, spot-to-spot inhomogeneity, as well as a typically low number of replicates are the main contributing factors. Here, we present a novel MALDI sample target for quantitative MALDI-MS applications, which addresses the limitations mentioned above. The platform is based on the recently developed microarray for mass spectrometry (MAMS) technology and contains parallel lanes of hydrophilic reservoirs. Samples are not pipetted manually but deposited by dragging one or several sample droplets with a metal sliding device along these lanes. Sample is rapidly and automatically aliquoted into the sample spots due to the interplay of hydrophilic/hydrophobic interactions. With a few microliters of sample, it is possible to aliquot up to 40 replicates within seconds, each aliquot containing just 10 nL. The analyte droplet dries immediately and homogeneously, and consumption of the whole spot during MALDI-MS analysis is typically accomplished within few seconds. We evaluated these sample targets with respect to their suitability for use with different samples and matrices. Furthermore, we tested their application for generating calibration curves of standard peptides with α-cyano-4-hdydroxycinnamic acid as a matrix. For angiotensin II and [Glu1]-fibrinopeptide B we achieved coefficients of determination (r2) greater than 0.99 without the use of internal standards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9771-9776
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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