National Research Council of Canada. Measurement Science and Standards
ion mobility; algal toxins; PSP; FAIMS; selexion; reference materials
Paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) are neurotoxins produced by dinoflagellates and cyanobacteria that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning in humans. PST quantitation by LC-MS is challenging because of their high polarity, lability as gas-phase ions, and large number of potentially interfering analogues. Differential mobility spectrometry (DMS) has the potential to improve the performance of LC-MS methods for PSTs in terms of selectivity and limits of detection. This work describes a comprehensive investigation of the separation of 16 regulated PSTs by DMS and the development of highly selective LC-DMS-MS methods for PST quantitation. The effects of all DMS parameters on the separation of PSTs from one another were first investigated in detail. The labile nature of 11α-gonyautoxin epimers gave unique insight into fragmentation of labile analytes before, during, and after the DMS analyzer. Two sets of DMS parameters were identified that either optimized the resolution of PSTs from one another or transmitted them at a limited number of compensation voltage (CV) values corresponding to structural subclasses. These were used to develop multidimensional LC-DMS-MS/MS methods using existing HILIC-MS/MS parameters. In both cases, improved selectivity was observed when using DMS, and the quantitative capabilities of a rapid UPLC-DMS-MS/MS method were evaluated. Limits of detection of the developed method were similar to those without DMS, and differences were highly analyte-dependant. Analysis of shellfish matrix reference materials showed good agreement with established methods. The developed methods will be useful in cases where specific matrix interferences are encountered in the LC-MS/MS analysis of PSTs in complex biological samples.
Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry28, no. 8: 1518–1530.