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Proceedings Paper

Matrix-assisted laser-desorption mass spectrometry of DNA using an infrared free-electron laser
Author(s): Richard F. Haglund; Kai Tang; Franz Hillenkamp; C. H. Winston Chen
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Paper Abstract

Sequencing the human genome requires an interdisciplinary approach combining aspects of biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering applied at the molecular level. One potentially interesting approach involves the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization mass spectroscopy (MALDI-MS), because of its high sensitivity, high speed, great accuracy, and ease of automation. However, while MALDI-MS has been successful in mass analysis of proteins and many large biomolecules, attempts to apply the technique to DNA sequencing have proven notoriously difficult. Because the choice of matrix materials for MALDI-MS is severely constrained by the application of conventional UV and visible laser sources, we are investigating the application of a tunable infrared free-electron laser to test the potential of infrared MALDI-MS for DNA sequencing. We describe the advantages of using tunable IR laser sources to choose matrix materials with optimal desorption, ionization, and thermomechanical properties, while avoiding the photochemical effects induced by ultraviolet and visible lasers. We also show the results of preliminary MALDI-MS experiments on small organic molecules using the Vanderbilt free-electron laser.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 July 1993
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1854, Free-Electron Laser Spectroscopy in Biology, Medicine, and Materials Science, (14 July 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.148034
Show Author Affiliations
Richard F. Haglund, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Kai Tang, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Franz Hillenkamp, Westfaelische Wilhelms Univ. (Germany)
C. H. Winston Chen, Oak Ridge National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1854:
Free-Electron Laser Spectroscopy in Biology, Medicine, and Materials Science
H. Alan Schwettman, Editor(s)

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