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Thin Film Chemical Deposition Techniques as a Tool for Fingerprinting of Free Fatty Acids by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry

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posted on 11.12.2018, 00:00 by Ekaterina P. Podolskaya, Alexey S. Gladchuk, Olga A. Keltsieva, Polina S. Dubakova, Elena S. Silyavka, Elena Lukasheva, Vladimir Zhukov, Natalia Lapina, Manizha R. Makhmadalieva, Alexander M. Gzgzyan, Nikolai G. Sukhodolov, Konstantin A. Krasnov, Artem A. Selyutin, Andrej Frolov
Metabolic fingerprinting is a powerful analytical technique, giving access to high-throughput identification and relative quantification of multiple metabolites. Because of short analysis times, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) is the preferred instrumental platform for fingerprinting, although its power in analysis of free fatty acids (FFAs) is limited. However, these metabolites are the biomarkers of human pathologies and indicators of food quality. Hence, a high-throughput method for their fingerprinting is required. Therefore, here we propose a MALDI-TOF-MS method for identification and relative quantification of FFAs in biological samples of different origins. Our approach relies on formation of monomolecular Langmuir films (LFs) at the interphase of aqueous barium acetate solution, supplemented with low amounts of 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid, and hexane extracts of biological samples. This resulted in detection limits of 10–13–10–14 mol and overall method linear dynamic range of at least 4 orders of magnitude with accuracy and precision within 2 and 17%, respectively. The method precision was verified with eight sample series of different taxonomies, which indicates a universal applicability of our approach. Thereby, 31 and 22 FFA signals were annotated by exact mass and identified by tandem MS, respectively. Among 20 FFAs identified in Fucus algae, 14 could be confirmed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.