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Studying and Modifying Paper To Lower Detection Limits for Paper Spray Mass Spectrometry

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2019
157 pages
This research project developed paper spray mass spectrometry methods to obtain lower detection limits for pharmaceuticals and drugs of abuse.
Paper spray mass spectrometry (Paper spray-MS), which was developed in the Cooks lab in 2010, involves spotting a biofluid on a triangle of paper and applying solvent and voltage to produce a plume of charge solvent droplets, known as a Taylor cone, which is similar to electrospray ionization. The solvent wicks through the biofluid spot and extracts analytes, so they can go from the biofluid to the gas phase in minimal time. Paper spray-MS has been used to obtain rapid results for monitoring therapeutic and recreational drugs, lipids, proteins, explosives, and biomarkers. The current project investigated blood fractionation membranes for their ability to obtain lysis free plasma from whole blood without changing the drug concentration relative to centrifugation. A device was developed capable of obtaining and analyzing plasma samples from whole blood and obtaining quantitative results similar to traditional methods. The properties of the paper substrate were investigated for their impacts on ionization efficiency and recovery in combination with the solvent choice. A method called paper strip extraction was developed for lowering detection limits. In this method, biofluids are wicked through either sesame seed oil or solid phase extraction powder on a paper strip, concentrating and preserving analytes out of biofluids. The project used 3D printing for rapid prototyping, noting how it potentially impacts paper spray-MS. 29 figures, 21 tables, and 15 references

Date Published: October 1, 2019