Abstract by Jacob Shaner
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Supercharging through the Looking Glass: The Use of Silicon-Based Supercharging Reagents in Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry
Medical and biological research depends on successful protein detection. One method of protein analysis is by mass spectrometry, where proteins are detected according to their mass and charge. One limitation in using mass spectrometry for protein research is caused by the large molecular mass of proteins. Because many mass analyzers have a relatively low upper m/z range, proteins with high m/z can be inaccessible. Increasing the charge on a protein minimizes this problem. This project focuses on using a new class of silicon-based supercharging reagents to increase the charge state of the protein when sprayed. Results were collected using sodium silicate as the supercharging reagent. Added sodium silicate resulted in modestly increased charging, shifting the maximum charge state of the distribution by 2+. This charge state increase by 2+ shows promise but needs further testing to demonstrate reproducibility. We plan to investigate silicate polymers and silanes to determine if they have greater supercharging capabilities.