Main content area

Electrophoretic Extraction of Low Molecular Weight Cationic Analytes from Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate Containing Sample Matrices for Their Direct Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry

Kinde, Tristan F., Lopez, Thomas D., Dutta, Debashis
Analytical chemistry 2015 v.87 no.5 pp. 2702-2709
angiotensin I, buffers, electric field, electroosmosis, electrophoresis, electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, glass, humans, ionization, mixing, molecular weight, sodium dodecyl sulfate, solvents
While the use of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) in separation buffers allows efficient analysis of complex mixtures, its presence in the sample matrix is known to severely interfere with the mass-spectrometric characterization of analyte molecules. In this article, we report a microfluidic device that addresses this analytical challenge by enabling inline electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) of low molecular weight cationic samples prepared in SDS containing matrices. The functionality of this device relies on the continuous extraction of analyte molecules into an SDS-free solvent stream based on the free-flow zone electrophoresis (FFZE) technique prior to their ESI-MS analysis. The reported extraction was accomplished in our current work in a glass channel with microelectrodes fabricated along its sidewalls to realize the desired electric field. Our experiments show that a key challenge to successfully operating such a device is to suppress the electroosmotically driven fluid circulations generated in its extraction channel that otherwise tend to vigorously mix the liquid streams flowing through this duct. A new coating medium, N-(2-triethoxysilylpropyl) formamide, recently demonstrated by our laboratory to nearly eliminate electroosmotic flow in glass microchannels was employed to address this issue. Applying this surface modifier, we were able to efficiently extract two different peptides, human angiotensin I and MRFA, individually from an SDS containing matrix using the FFZE method and detect them at concentrations down to 3.7 and 6.3 μg/mL, respectively, in samples containing as much as 10 mM SDS. Notice that in addition to greatly reducing the amount of SDS entering the MS instrument, the reported approach allows rapid solvent exchange for facilitating efficient analyte ionization desired in ESI-MS analysis.