Reproducibility has been one of the biggest hurdles faced when attempting to develop quantitative protocols for MALDI mass spectrometry. The heterogeneous nature of sample recrystallization has made automated sample acquisition somewhat "hit and miss" with manual intervention needed to ensure that all sample spots have been analyzed. In this review, we explore the last 30 years of literature and anecdotal evidence that has attempted to address and improve reproducibility in MALDI MS. Though many methods have been attempted, we have discovered a significant publication history surrounding the use of nitrocellulose as a substrate to improve homogeneity of crystal formation and therefore reproducibility. We therefore propose that this is the most promising avenue of research for developing a comprehensive and universal preparation protocol for quantitative MALDI MS analysis. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Mass Spec Rev 37:217-228, 2018.
Keywords: MALDI MS; matrix; nitrocellulose; reproducibility.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.