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Issue 5, 2013
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Direct monitoring of chemical transformations by combining thin layer chromatography with nanoparticle-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry

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Abstract

A nanomaterial-assisted method that combines thin layer chromatography (TLC) with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) was developed to directly monitor chemical transformations. A substrate-dependent extraction strategy was studied and successfully used to identify target molecules from the depths of a developed TLC plate. By using this strategy, a hydrophobic sample of interest was enriched on the surface of the TLC plate in the presence of acetonitrile, in contrast to using water and methanol to identify hydrophilic samples. The successful enrichment of samples by specific solvents provided stable desorption/ionization efficiencies of compounds of interest and led to very good sensitivity near the attomole scale. The method was then used to monitor 4-dimethylaminopyridine (DMAP)-catalyzed acylation in preparation of bifunctional sulfonamides. The labile DMAP-acyl intermediate and final sulfonamide product were clearly identified on TLC plates without external purification or sample preparation. Furthermore, in combination with collision-induced dissociation (CID) to provide structural information, the technique was successfully used in the natural product discovery of anti-inflammatory flavonoids from Helminthostachys zeylanica, a traditional Chinese herb. The newly proposed method provides a very low background from silica supports or organic matrices in the low molecular weight range (100–1000 Da). The technique may greatly accelerate studies of metabolomics, drug discovery, and organic synthesis.

Graphical abstract: Direct monitoring of chemical transformations by combining thin layer chromatography with nanoparticle-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
03 Oct 2012
Accepted
03 Jan 2013
First published
07 Jan 2013

Analyst, 2013,138, 1379-1385
Article type
Paper

Direct monitoring of chemical transformations by combining thin layer chromatography with nanoparticle-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry

C. Chen, Y. Yang, C. Ou, C. Chou, C. Liaw and P. Lin, Analyst, 2013, 138, 1379
DOI: 10.1039/C2AN36423A

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