ESI-MS/MS library of 1,253 compounds for application in forensic and clinical toxicology

Anal Bioanal Chem. 2009 Dec;395(8):2521-6. doi: 10.1007/s00216-009-3084-2. Epub 2009 Sep 9.


An electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS) library which contains over 5,600 spectra of 1,253 compounds relevant in clinical and forensic toxicology has been developed using a hybrid tandem mass spectrometer with a linear ion trap. Pure compound solutions-in some cases solutions made of tablets-were prepared and 1 to 2,000 ng of each compound were injected into the system using standard reversed-phase analytical columns with gradient elution. To obtain maximum mass spectral information enhanced product ion spectra were acquired with positive and/or negative ionization at low, medium, and high collision energies and additionally applying collision energy spread. In this mode, all product ions generated by the different collision energies are trapped in the linear ion trap prior to their detection. The applicability of the library for other types of hybrid tandem mass spectrometers with a linear ion trap of the same manufacturer as well as a standard triple-quadrupole tandem mass spectrometer has been investigated with a selection of compounds. The spectra of the developed library can be used to create methods for target analysis, either screening methods or quantitative procedures by generating transitions for multiple reaction monitoring. For those procedures, suitable transitions and convenient collision energies are selected from the library. It also has been utilized to identify compounds with a multi target screening approach for clinical and forensic toxicology with a standardized and automated system. The novel aspects compared to our former library produced with a standard triple-quadrupole mass spectrometer are the enlargement of the ESI-MS/MS library and the additional acquisition of spectra with collision energy spread.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Clinical Medicine / methods*
  • Forensic Medicine / methods*
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / analysis*
  • Small Molecule Libraries / analysis*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Small Molecule Libraries