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    This study introduced sandwich-structured copper-glass substrates for standardization of laser desorption and plasma ionization. For standardized quantitative analysis, cavities were constructed which allow better reproducibility in droplet deposition and for laser application. Applying the diode laser, molten substrate material is incorporated into the glass, being trapped inside. Therefore, this method can be separated from laser ablation, achieving high ion signals without ablating material from the surface. Flexible microtube plasma (FμTP) was selected as the ionization source, this being the first time that laser desorption and FμTP ionization are coupled. This laser-plasma interface was applied to the detection of cholesterol, which showed a significantly improved limit of detection of 0.46 ng and linear dynamic range of 3 orders of magnitude in positive ion mode compared to other (ambient air mass spectrometry) methods. The main reason was the change of phase on the copper surface. The dehydrated molecule [M-H2O+H]+ was the base peak of the spectrum and no further dissociation or fragmentation was observed. Blood plasma was spiked with cholesterol. In a 1:100 chloroform dilution, the presence of the plasma was neglectable and led to the same detection limits and linear dynamic range as in the cholesterol standard. No sample preparation or internal standards were needed for calibration. The physical effects of the surface modification were investigated, including the calculation of the laser beam waist to simplify the comparison and reproducibility of results.


    Alexander Knodel, Ulrich Marggraf, Norman Ahlmann, Sebastian Brandt, Daniel Foest, Bienvenida Gilbert-López, Joachim Franzke. Standardization of Sandwich-Structured Cu-Glass Substrates Embedded in a Flexible Diode Laser-Plasma Interface for the Detection of Cholesterol. Analytical chemistry. 2020 Mar 17;92(6):4663-4671

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    PMID: 32106668

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