An enhanced droplet-based liquid microjunction surface sampling system coupled with HPLC-ESI-MS/MS for spatially resolved analysis

Anal Bioanal Chem. 2015 Mar;407(8):2117-25. doi: 10.1007/s00216-014-8287-5. Epub 2014 Nov 7.


Droplet-based liquid microjunction surface sampling coupled with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-electrospray ionization (ESI)-tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) for spatially resolved analysis provides the possibility of effective analysis of complex matrix samples and can provide a greater degree of chemical information from a single spot sample than is typically possible with a direct analysis of an extract. Described here is the setup and enhanced capabilities of a discrete droplet liquid microjunction surface sampling system employing a commercially available CTC PAL autosampler. The system enhancements include incorporation of a laser distance sensor enabling unattended analysis of samples and sample locations of dramatically disparate height as well as reliably dispensing just 0.5 μL of extraction solvent to make the liquid junction to the surface, wherein the extraction spot size was confined to an area about 0.7 mm in diameter; software modifications improving the spatial resolution of sampling spot selection from 1.0 to 0.1 mm; use of an open bed tray system to accommodate samples as large as whole-body rat thin tissue sections; and custom sample/solvent holders that shorten sampling time to approximately 1 min per sample. The merit of these new features was demonstrated by spatially resolved sampling, HPLC separation, and mass spectral detection of pharmaceuticals and metabolites from whole-body rat thin tissue sections and razor blade ("crude") cut mouse tissue.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Structures / chemistry
  • Animal Structures / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Microinjections / instrumentation
  • Microinjections / methods*
  • Microtomy
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / chemistry*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Specimen Handling / instrumentation
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations