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Correction for Isotopic Interferences between Analyte and Internal Standard in Quantitative Mass Spectrometry by a Nonlinear Calibration Function

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posted on 16.04.2013, 00:00 by Geoffrey S. Rule, Zlatuse D. Clark, Bingfang Yue, Alan L. Rockwood
Stable isotope-labeled internal standards are of great utility in providing accurate quantitation in mass spectrometry (MS). An implicit assumption has been that there is no “cross talk” between signals of the internal standard and the target analyte. In some cases, however, naturally occurring isotopes of the analyte do contribute to the signal of the internal standard. This phenomenon becomes more pronounced for isotopically rich compounds, such as those containing sulfur, chlorine, or bromine, higher molecular weight compounds, and those at high analyte/internal standard concentration ratio. This can create nonlinear calibration behavior that may bias quantitative results. Here, we propose the use of a nonlinear but more accurate fitting of data for these situations that incorporates one or two constants determined experimentally for each analyte/internal standard combination and an adjustable calibration parameter. This fitting provides more accurate quantitation in MS-based assays where contributions from analyte to stable labeled internal standard signal exist. It can also correct for the reverse situation where an analyte is present in the internal standard as an impurity. The practical utility of this approach is described, and by using experimental data, the approach is compared to alternative fits.