Direct Analysis of Biotransformations with Mass Spectrometry – DiBT-MS

30 June 2022, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Ambient ionization coupled to mass spectrometry has the advantages of minimal requirements for sample preparation prior to analysis which renders it suitable for high throughput screening. We present a protocol that permits the application of this method in routine biotechnology and chemical biology laboratories which are using engineered enzymes to produce target compounds from substrates. We show how DESI-MS can be used to directly analyse the activity of biotransformations from crude cell lysate which we term DiBT-MS, this method is 10-1000 times faster than LC-MS and uses far less solvent. This protocol demonstrates the impact of solvent spray composition on ionization efficiency of the target analyte, the benefits of a nylon membrane slide and the reusability of sample slides in multiple experiments.  


high-throughput screening
mass spectrometry

Supplementary materials

Supporting information
Mass spectrometry data in support of the main text.


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