QconCAT Standard for Calibration of Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry Systems

Ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS) is a useful technique for determining information about analyte ion conformation in addition to mass/charge ratio. The physical principles that govern the mobility of an ion through a gas in the presence of a uniform electric field are well understood, enabling rotationally averaged collision cross sections (Ω) to be directly calculated from measured drift times under well-defined experimental conditions. However, such “first principle” calculations are not straightforward for Traveling Wave (T-Wave) mobility separations due to the range of factors that influence ion motion through the mobility cell. If collision cross section information is required from T-Wave mobility separations, then calibration of the instruments using known standards is essential for each set of experimental conditions. To facilitate such calibration, we have designed and generated an artificial protein based on the QconCAT technology, QCAL-IM, which upon proteolysis can be used as a universal ion mobility calibration standard. This single unique standard enables empirical calculation of peptide ion collision cross sections from the drift time on a T-Wave mobility instrument.