Automated gain control and internal calibration with external ion accumulation capillary liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance

Anal Chem. 2003 Aug 15;75(16):4195-205. doi: 10.1021/ac0206770.


When combined with capillary LC separations, electrospray ionization-Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (ESI-FTICR MS) has demonstrated capabilities for advanced characterization of proteomes based upon analyses of proteolytic digests. Incorporation of external (to the ICR cell) multipole devices with FTICR for ion selection and ion accumulation has enhanced the dynamic range, sensitivity, and duty cycle of measurements. However, the highly variable ion production rate from an LC separation can result in "overfilling" of the external trap during the elution of major peaks and result in m/z discrimination and fragmentation of peptide ions. Excessive space charge trapped in the ICR cell also causes significant shifts in the detected ion cyclotron frequencies, reducing the achievable mass measurement accuracy (MMA) and making protein identification less effective. To eliminate m/z discrimination in the external ion trap, further increase duty cycle, and improve MMA, we have developed the capability for data-dependent adjustment of ion accumulation times in the course of an LC separation, referred to as automated gain control (AGC). This development has been implemented in combination with low kinetic energy gated ion trapping and internal calibration using a dual-channel electrodynamic ion funnel. The overall system was initially evaluated in the analysis of a tryptic digest of bovine serum albumin. In conjunction with internal calibration, the capillary LC-ESI-AGC-FTICR instrumentation provided a approximately 10-fold increase in the number of identified tryptic peptides compared to that obtained using a fixed ion accumulation time and external calibration methods.