Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 8, 2012
Previous Article Next Article

Quasi-dynamic mode of nanomembranes for time-of-flight mass spectrometry of proteins

Author affiliations

Abstract

Mechanical resonators realized on the nano-scale by now offer applications in mass-sensing of biomolecules with extraordinary sensitivity. The general idea is that perfect mechanical biosensors should be of extremely small size to achieve zeptogram sensitivity in weighing single molecules similar to a balance. However, the small scale and long response time of weighing biomolecules with a cantilever restrict their usefulness as a high-throughput method. Commercial mass spectrometry (MS) such as electro-spray ionization (ESI)-MS and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)-time of flight (TOF)-MS are the gold standards to which nanomechanical resonators have to live up to. These two methods rely on the ionization and acceleration of biomolecules and the following ion detection after a mass selection step, such as time-of-flight (TOF). Hence, the spectrum is typically represented in m/z, i.e. the mass to ionization charge ratio. Here, we describe the feasibility and mass range of detection of a new mechanical approach for ion detection in time-of-flight mass spectrometry, the principle of which is that the impinging ion packets excite mechanical oscillations in a silicon nitride nanomembrane. These mechanical oscillations are henceforth detected via field emission of electrons from the nanomembrane. Ion detection is demonstrated in MALDI-TOF analysis over a broad range with angiotensin, bovine serum albumin (BSA), and an equimolar protein mixture of insulin, BSA, and immunoglobulin G (IgG). We find an unprecedented mass range of operation of the nanomembrane detector.

Graphical abstract: Quasi-dynamic mode of nanomembranes for time-of-flight mass spectrometry of proteins

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 17 Nov 2011, accepted on 17 Jan 2012 and first published on 25 Jan 2012


Article type: Feature Article
DOI: 10.1039/C2NR11779G
Citation: Nanoscale, 2012,4, 2543-2548
  •   Request permissions

    Quasi-dynamic mode of nanomembranes for time-of-flight mass spectrometry of proteins

    J. Park, H. Kim and R. H. Blick, Nanoscale, 2012, 4, 2543
    DOI: 10.1039/C2NR11779G

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements