Three-Dimensional Printed Target Plates for Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry

Anal Chem. 2020 Oct 6;92(19):12783-12788. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.0c01737. Epub 2020 Sep 19.


Three-dimensional printing (3D printing) is a fast-growing technology with high impact in industry, medicine, and the life sciences. Fused deposition modeling (FDM), which uses plastic filaments extruded through a heated nozzle, is the most common 3D printing technology for creation of objects. In this work, the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) target plates printed by FDM technology using conductive plastic material were evaluated for their detection capability of proteins and peptides. The 3D printed MALDI targets were validated by analysis of different types of bacteria and compared with commercially available MBT BioTargets. The results indicate that 3D printed MALDI targets are comparable to standard MBT BioTargets and stainless-steel targets and may be used for different MALDI-TOF MS applications. The 3D printing allows easy manufacturing of MALDI targets with different dimensions and spot geometry. Moreover, the 3D printed MALDI targets are disposable, cheap, and easy to produce. These features make them a suitable cost-effective alternative to conventional targets for any MALDI MS analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't