Pharmaceutical analysis by solid-substrate electrospray ionization mass spectrometry with wooden tips

Yunyun Yang, Jiewei Deng, Zhongping Yao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Electrospray ionization (ESI) using wooden tips as solid substrates allows direct ionization of various samples and their simple and efficient analyses by mass spectrometry (MS). In this study, wooden-tip ESI-MS was used for pharmaceutical analysis. A wide variety of active components present in pharmaceuticals with forms of tablets, capsules, granules, dry suspensions, suspensions, drops, and oral liquids, etc.; were all successfully ionized directly for mass spectrometric analysis. Trace degradation products were also sensitively detected using wooden-tip ESI-MS. This strategy was extended to construct chemical fingerprints of herbal products containing complex and unknown components, and the fingerprints provided valuable information for their quality assessment and origin tracing. Our experimental data demonstrated that wooden-tip ESI-MS is a useful tool for rapid pharmaceutical analysis, with high sensitivity and wide applicability, showing promising perspectives for quality assessment and control, authentication, and origin tracing of pharmaceuticals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-47
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Active components
  • Chemical fingerprint
  • Degradation products
  • Pharmaceutical analysis
  • Wooden-tip electrospray ionization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Spectroscopy


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