Direct protein detection from biological media through electrospray-assisted laser desorption ionization/mass spectrometry

J Proteome Res. 2006 May;5(5):1107-16. doi: 10.1021/pr050442f.


We report here using a novel technology-electrospray-assisted laser desorption ionization (ELDI)/mass spectrometry-for the rapid and sensitive detection of the major proteins that exist in dried biological fluids (e.g., blood, tears, saliva, serum), bacterial cultures, and tissues (e.g., porcine liver and heart) under ambient conditions. This technique required essentially no sample pretreatment. The proteins in the samples were desorbed using a pulsed nitrogen laser without the assistance of an organic matrix. The desorbed protein molecules were then post-ionized through their fusion into the charged solvent droplets produced from the electrospray of an acidic methanol solution; electrospray ionization (ESI) proceeded from the newly formed droplets to generate the ESI-like protein ions. This new ionization approach combines some of the features of electrospray ionization with those of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI), that is, sampling of a solid surface with spatial resolution, generating ESI-like mass spectra of the desorbed proteins, and operating under ambient conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / analysis
  • Humans
  • Liver / chemistry
  • Myocardium / chemistry
  • Proteins / analysis*
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Specimen Handling / methods
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization / methods*
  • Swine


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Proteins