Microfabricated device coupled with an electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer: protein identifications based on enhanced-resolution mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry data

Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 1998;12(20):1435-44. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0231(19981030)12:20<1435::AID-RCM349>3.0.CO;2-9.


We describe the coupling of a microfabricated fluidic device to an electrospray ionization (ESI) quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer (QqTOFMS) for the identification of protein samples. The microfabricated devices consisted of three reservoirs connected via channels to a main capillary, which in turn was linked via a microspray interface to the QqTOFMS. Here we present preliminary results obtained using this system. Standardized solutions of myoglobin tryptic digest were analyzed indicating a limit of detection at the low to sub fmol/microL. The combination of the microfabricated device for rapid sample delivery and the rapid acquisition capability, enhanced resolution and mass accuracy of the QqTOF offers unique possibilities for the rapid identification of proteins by database searching. This platform can generate MS data suitable for protein database searching by the peptide-mass fingerprinting approach and MS/MS data suitable for protein database searching. Here the results of the two database-searching approaches are compared and the possibilities of combining the two approaches for rapid identification of protein are discussed. Also, we present a comparison of the results obtained using the three-position microfabricated device coupled to the ESI-QqTOFMS and to an ESI-ion trap MS. Finally the combination of C-terminal 18O labeling of peptides and the microfabricated system for automated combined peptide-mass fingerprinting and sequence-tag database searching is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Factual
  • Hydrolysis
  • Mass Spectrometry / instrumentation*
  • Myoglobin / analysis
  • Peptides / analysis
  • Proteins / analysis*
  • Trypsin


  • Myoglobin
  • Peptides
  • Proteins
  • Trypsin