J.M. Hayes, K.K. Murray, Ambient laser ablation sample transfer with nanostructure-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry for bacteria analysis, Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 28 (2014) 2382–2384. doi:10.1002/rcm.7023.


MALDI mass spectrum of bacteria with CHCA matrix (a) E. coli and (b) B. cereus. The inset spectra show the low m/z range.

The direct analysis of bacteria phospholipids was accomplished by a combination of ambient sampling of bacterial colonies by laser ablation combined with a nanostructure-assisted laser desorption ionization (NALDI) MS. Bacteria from colonies of E. coli and B. cereus were irradiated with a pulsed infrared laser and the ablated material was collected in a solvent droplet. The droplet was deposited directly on a NALDI target and analyzed in a commercial time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometer, with no further treatment. The resulting mass spectra reveal distinctive peak patterns corresponding to the bacteria phospholipids.