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Synchronized Polarization Induced Electrospray: Comprehensively Profiling Biomolecules in Single Cells by Combining both Positive-Ion and Negative-Ion Mass Spectra

Hu, Jun, Jiang, Xiao-Xiao, Wang, Jiang, Guan, Qi-Yuan, Zhang, Pan-Ke, Xu, Jing-Juan, Chen, Hong-Yuan
Analytical chemistry 2016 v.88 no.14 pp. 7245-7251
Allium cepa, biochemical compounds, ionization
In this work, a synchronized polarization induced electrospray ionization (SPI-ESI) method is developed and applied for the analysis of single-cell samples. In SPI-ESI, periodic alternating current square wave voltage (AC-SWV) is applied to induce the bipolar spray and both positive-ion and negative-ion mass spectra are obtained through one measurement by synchronizing the mode of mass analyzer with the bipolar spray process. Compared with conventional nanoelectrospray ionization (nESI, flow rate < 1000 nL/min), ultralow spray flow rate (pico-electrospray ionization, pESI, flow rate < 1000 pL/min) is achieved in SPI-ESI without loss of its sensitivity. The decrease of flow rate prolongs the MS signal duration from single-cell samples to acquire ms² data for components determination. To our knowledge, this is the first time to successfully achieve comprehensive analysis of single-cell samples by combining both positive-ion and negative-ion mass spectra. Ultimately, 86 components are profiled from single Allium cepa cells and 94 components are profiled from single PC-12 cells.