Bergman N, Shevchenko D, Bergquist J
Anal Bioanal Chem 406 (1) 49-61 [2014-01-00; online 2013-12-10]
This review summarizes various approaches for the analysis of low molecular weight (LMW) compounds by different laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry techniques (LDI-MS). It is common to use an agent to assist the ionization, and small molecules are normally difficult to analyze by, e.g., matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) using the common matrices available today, because the latter are generally small organic compounds themselves. This often results in severe suppression of analyte peaks, or interference of the matrix and analyte signals in the low mass region. However, intrinsic properties of several LDI techniques such as high sensitivity, low sample consumption, high tolerance towards salts and solid particles, and rapid analysis have stimulated scientists to develop methods to circumvent matrix-related issues in the analysis of LMW molecules. Recent developments within this field as well as historical considerations and future prospects are presented in this review.