Biomolecular analysis and cancer diagnostics by negative mode probe electrospray ionization†
We have examined several combinations of solvents and probes with the aim of optimizing the ionization conditions for biomolecules e.g., proteins, peptides and lipids by negative mode probe electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PESI-MS). With the data presented in this study, negative-mode PESI-MS can be considered as a potential tool for biomolecular analysis and cancer diagnostics because of its simplicity in instrumental configuration. A sharper sampling probe was found to be better for obtaining high quality mass spectra because it can generate stable electrospray without the occurrence of gas breakdown. Although the best conditions may depend on each sample, aqueous organic solvent solutions, especially isopropanol–H2O (1/1) with a pH of ≥7, are shown to be preferable for negative-mode PESI-MS, which was successfully applied to colon cancer diagnosis.