Peptide Oxidation Induced by Liquid-Solid Contact Electrification as Revealed in Liquid Microjunction-Surface Sampling Probe Mass Spectrometry

Anal Chem. 2023 May 25. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.3c01411. Online ahead of print.


Reproducible peptide oxidation was observed using a homebuilt liquid microjunction-surface sampling probe (LMJ-SSP) platform for analyzing peptide standards. Although electrochemical oxidation and corona discharges have previously been associated with analyte oxidation in electrospray ionization (ESI) and ESI-related ambient ionization mass spectrometry (MS) methods, they were unlikely the causes for the peptide oxidation observed in the LMJ-SSP studies. A systematic investigation demonstrated that analyte oxidation was induced during the droplet drying on a solid surface through liquid-solid electrification processes. To minimize unwanted analyte oxidation, the water content in the sample solution should be decreased and the use of hydroxyl-functionalized substrates, such as glass slides, should be avoided. In addition, if water is an essential solvent component, adding an antioxidant, such as ascorbic acid, to the sample solution before droplet evaporation on the solid surface could lower the percentage of analyte oxidation. The present findings apply to all the MS methods that involve drying microliters of sample solution onto a suitable substrate in their sample preparation protocols.