Optimised preparation for the analysis of biological samples

Sample preparation is crucial when biological samples are analysed with mass spectrometric methods. Sample preparation is aimed to efficiently remove interfering compounds of the biological matrix (e.g. blood) in a simple way and at the same time maintain the target analyte. The matrix influences the sensitivity but also the robustness of the analytical method. Usually, method development is only focused on the analyte: if the target analyte is detectable even at low concentrations the optimisation is completed. Often, the negative influence of matrix compounds is only realized after hundreds of samples have been analysed. In this work we investigated several state of the art sample preparation techniques focussing on the fate of the interfering matrix compounds by using a combination of metabolomics and charges aerosol detection. We found that the clean-up efficiency of the investigated sample preparation techniques was significantly different. The results will influence the selection of sample preparation techniques that are used for open flow microperfusion samples generated during clinical studies.


The results of our work have recently been published in the Journal Analytica Chimica Acta.


Schimek D, Francesconi KA, Mautner A, Libiseller G, Raml R, Magnes C. Matrix removal in state of the art sample preparation methods for serum by charged aerosol detection and metabolomics-based LC-MS. Analytica Chimica Acta 915 (2016): 56-63. doi: