MALDI-TOF is a technique commonly used to determine the composition of biomolecules, such as proteins, DNA, polysaccharides, and lipid, by analyzing the mass to charge ratio. It consists of two sequential steps: Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) and Time of Flight (TOF). In MALDI stage, samples are spotted and fixed on the surface of a metal plate, followed by ionization under laser irradiation to trigger ablation and desorption from the matrix. After an acceleration process, ions enter into the next step, where the mass to charge ratio of these ions are analyzed by TOF mass spectrometer. In contrast to ESI, the majority of ions generated by MALDI carry just one single charge; So the Time of Flight (TOF) analyzer is most widely used with MALDI, mainly due to its large mass range, high resolution and its measurement procedure is also ideally suitable to MALDI ionization. MALDI-TOF MS can provide rapid analysis of important biopolymers with molecular weight up to 350 kDa in biological samples. Because of the simplicity of molecular charge status, the MALDI spectra are easier to interpret than ESI spectra.
Schematic of MALDI-TOF MS
Features of MALDI-TOF technique:
Strength of the MALDI-TOF MS at Creative Proteomics:
Areas of application:
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