We have developed a method for constructing and extracting matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) fingerprints. This method is fully automated and statistically based, allowing a large number of spectra to be analyzed at a time in an objective manner. This method can be used to extract the fingerprint of a particular analyte from a spectrum containing multiple analytes. Therefore, this method lends itself well to real-world applications where samples to be analyzed are likely to be impure. We illustrate this method on experimental results from a series of studies of E. coli and B. atrophaeus MALDI time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS) fingerprints.
Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.