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Analysis of nonderivatized steroids by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry using C₇₀ fullerene as matrix

Montsko, Gergely, Vaczy, Alexandra, Maasz, Gabor, Mernyak, Erzsebet, Frank, Eva, Bay, Csaba, Kadar, Zalan, Ohmacht, Robert, Wolfling, Janos, Mark, Laszlo
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2009 v.395 no.3 pp. 869-874
derivatization, desorption, fullerene, gas chromatography, ionization, matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization mass spectrometry, sex hormones, steroid hormones, steroids, thermal stability
Neutral steroid hormones are currently analyzed by gas or liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry based methods. Most of the steroid compounds, however, lack volatility and do not contain polar groups, which results in inadequate chromatographic behavior and low ionization efficiency. Derivatization of the steroids to form more volatile, thermostable, and charged products solves this difficulty, but the derivatization of compounds with unknown chemical moieties is not an easy task. In this study, a rapid, high-throughput, sensitive matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry method is described using C₇₀ fullerene as a matrix compound. The application of the method is demonstrated for five general sex steroids and for synthetic steroid compounds in both negative and positive ionization modes.