Peptide and protein assays using customizable bio-affinity arrays combined with ambient ionization mass spectrometry†
High-throughput identification and quantification of protein/peptide biomarkers from biofluids in a label-free manner is achieved by interfacing bio-affinity arrays (BAAs) with nano-electrospray desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (nano-DESI-MS). A wide spectrum of proteins and peptides ranging from phosphopeptides to cis-diol biomolecules as well as thrombin can be rapidly extracted via arbitrarily predefined affinity interactions including coordination chemistry, covalent bonding, and biological recognition. An integrated MS platform allows continuous interrogation. Profiling and quantitation of dysregulated phosphopeptides from small-volume (∼5 μL) serum samples has been successfully demonstrated. As a front-end device adapted to any mass spectrometer, this MS platform might hold much promise in protein/peptide analysis in point-of-care (POC) diagnostics and clinical applications.