Oversampling Selective Accumulation Trapped Ion Mobility Spectrometry Coupled to FT-ICR MS: Fundamentals and Applications

Anal Chem. 2016 Jul 19;88(14):7404-12. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b01946. Epub 2016 Jul 6.


In the present paper, we describe the fundamentals and analytical advantages of Oversampling Selective Accumulation Trapped Ion Mobility Spectrometry (OSA-TIMS) when coupled to ultrahigh resolution mass analyzers (e.g., FT-ICR MS). During TIMS analysis, ion packages are spatially resolved based on their mobilities along the TIMS analyzer axis and multiple strategies can be utilized during the trapping and elution of the ion population of interest. In the case of OSA-TIMS-FT-ICR MS, the TIMS operation sequence, trapping conditions, and operations are optimized to increase the signal-to-noise and the number of points across the mobility domain, which leads to more accurate mobility and mass measurements. Experimental results show that accurate ion-neutral collision cross sections (<1%) can be measured using OSA-TIMS-FT-ICR MS with high mobility resolving powers (RIMS up to 250), high mass accuracy (<1 ppm), and ultrahigh mass resolution (RMS up to 600-1200k at m/z 400) in a single analysis. The analytical advantages of OSA-TIMS over SA-TIMS were illustrated for the analysis of structural peptide isomers (SDGRG and GRGDS [M + H](+)), conformational isomers (AT-hook peptide 3 KRGRGRPRK [M + 2H](+2)), and a complex mixture of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) from coal tar. Baseline separation of the structural peptide isomers SDGRG and GRGDS, [M + H](+), was observed, and three conformations were identified for the AT-hook peptide 3 KRGRGRPRK [M + 2H](+2) during OSA-TIMS-FT-ICR MS. A 2-fold increase in the number of molecular features and a 2-6-fold signal-to-noise increase was observed for OSA-TIMS when compared with SA-TIMS during the PAH analysis. This work provides the proof-of-principle for further application of OSA-TIMS-FT-ICR MS for the unsupervised analysis of complex mixtures based on the characterization of the conformational space and the assignment of chemical formulas in a single analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Coal Tar / chemistry
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Ion Mobility Spectrometry*
  • Isomerism
  • Nanotechnology
  • Peptides / analysis*
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / analysis
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization*


  • Peptides
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Coal Tar