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Novel automated sample purification and enrichment for DI-MS

Scientists at Leiden University have invented a method for easy and automated (bio)sample preparation for DI-MS. 

The method allows for easy and fast sample purification and enrichment and can easily be integrated with commercially available nanoESI robots.

The aim of Direct-Infusion Mass Spectrometry (DI-MS) is to provide compositional information as well as identification and quantification of specific analytes. Especially nanoelectrospray (nanoESI) is very powerful, but nanoESI emitters are susceptible to clogging due to e.g. protein precipitation and salt crystallization. 

The new preparation method developed in Leiden is based on electroextraction and can be used to selectively extract cations or anions from a sample before infusion into the Mass Spectrometer. This way, for example, proteins and salts can be discarded and therefore the quantitative power of DI-MS can be significantly improved. The method also has the potential to pre-concentrate analytes before infusion into the MS. This entire method has the additional advantage of being easily integrateble with current (robotic) liquid handling/nanoESI systems. 

Leiden University is looking for partners to bring this technology to the market.

Key benefits

  • Selective extraction of analytes from a sample
  • Potential of concentrating analytes before infusion into the MS
  • Improved quantitative power of DI-MS
  • Easy integration with commercially available nanoESI robots
  • Proteins and salts can be discarded prior to sample analysis


  • DI-MS
  • Sample pre-treatment in bioanalysis
  • nanoESI

Development stage

Proof-of-concept has been established for several (bio)samples and analyte classes

Luris reference number


Patent status

A PCT application has been filed

Data available on request

Additional non-confidential information is available on request

Further information

Frits Fallaux Knowledge Broker (LU) +31-71-527 2517