Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry has become, in recent years, a tool of choice for large-molecule analyses, especially for proteins. Published applications address protein and nucleic acid sequence, structure, purity, heterogeneity, cleavage, posttranslational modification, and a host of other molecular characteristics that are often difficult to study by other means. MALDI-TOF is also being used as a QC tool to verify peptide, protein, and DNA syntheses. With state-of-the-art machines claiming megadalton capabilities and femtomolar sensitivities, MALDI-TOF and related techniques seem set to play an increasingly important role in protein and proteome analysis.
It's commonly said that a mass spectrometrist figures out what something is by smashing it to bits with a hammer and examining the individual pieces. The various types of mass spectrometry (MS) use different and specialized methods for smashing and ionizing the target molecules and...
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