F. Hillenkamp, M. Karas, R.C. Beavis, B.T. Chait, "Matrix- associated laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry of biopolymers," Analytical Chemistry, 63:A1193-A1202, 1991.

Franz Hillenkamp (Institut fur Medizinische Physik und Bio-physik, Anster, Germany): "Mass spectrometry is a very accurate, sensitive, and informative technique that has considerable analytical potential in modern molecular biology, biochemistry, and biotechnology. Among the most important molecules of interest to biologists are biopolymers, which have molecular weights of several thousand to several hundred thousand daltons and normally exist only in an aqueous or otherwise condensed-phase environment.

"The great challenge, therefore, was to `tickle' these large, complex molecules (a 100,000-dalton protein consists of more than 10,000 atoms!) out of their liquid or solid surrounding into the vacuum as intact, single individuals; add a charge to them; and direct them into a mass spectrometer. (Who, after all, would like to be put in a spaceship, leave all her or his family and...

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