New Advances in Amino Acid Profiling by Capillary Electrophoresis-Electrospray Ionization-Mass Spectrometry
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Capillary electrophoresis-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (CE-ESI-MS) offers a selective, sensitive yet robust approach for amino acid profiling in complex biological samples with minimal sample pretreatment. Direct analysis of amino acids and their analogs is routinely performed using strongly acidic buffer conditions under positive-ion mode ESI-MS with a coaxial sheath liquid interface. New advances in online sample preconcentration, chemical derivatization, and/or ESI interface designs can further improve assay performance allowing for resolution of amino acid stereoisomers and labile aminothiols with low nanomolar detection limits. Accurate prediction of the electromigration behavior of amino acids offers a convenient approach for their qualitative identification complementary to ESI-MS. Simultaneous analysis of amino acids together with other classes of cationic metabolites can be realized by CE-ESI-MS for comprehensive metabolite profiling applications relevant to disease prognosis, drug efficacy, and food safety/quality control.
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