Mass spectrometry is the production as well as the detection of ions when separated as per their mass-to-charge ratios. Today there are modern mass spectrometry tools that are used to analyze glycans both for structural studies and profiling. This equipment is available with mass accuracy and high resolution, which explains why, established healthcare providers like Europa Bioproducts uses them.
It is important to note that a considerably larger amount of ten to twenty times of glycogen is often needed for a single Mass Spectrometry. This is unlike other methods like the HPLC method.
The most widely used technique for mass spectrometry in analyzing glycan is known as the Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight. It is commonly abbreviated as MALDI-TOF. Mass weight is the main information that is mainly gained by using this kind of technique. This information can be then used for the purposes of assigning putative monosaccharide structures that are in the pure oligosaccharide.
For linkage and structural analysis of the glycan, the MALDI mass spectrometry technique can be applied alongside glycan sequencing. This is done using exoglycosidase enzymes.
Various matrices and approaches are used to analyze the acidic and neutral glycans by the MALDI mass spectrometry process.
Glycans that are neutral ionize with considerable efficiency using 2,5 DHB –
dihydroxybenzoic, as the matrix in the positive ion status. On the other hand, acidic glycans give poor MALDI spectra when used alongside DHB matrices. This is as a result of variable losses of carboxyl group and sialic acids. This condition can, unfortunately, lead to several peaks.
The glycans are therefore supposed to be analyzed in a negative ion status using matrices provided by mass spectrometry.
The development and subsequent improvements of the mass spectrometry have increased the knowledge that acclaimed health professionals like Europa Bioproducts have. This has, in turn, facilitated the exploration of useful biological carbohydrates and improved many lives.