Recent advances in differentiation of isomers by ion mobility mass spectrometry

Qian Wu, Jian Ying Wang, Dong Qi Han, Zhong Ping Yao (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Differentiation of isomers is an important analytical task in many fields, e.g., chemistry, biology, pharmaceutical science, medicine, environmental science, food science. Ion mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS) can resolve isobaric ions based on their shape and size and measure the collision cross section (CCS) values of ions to provide information on their intrinsic structures, and is thus a very promising tool for differentiation of isomers. In this review, the applications of IM-MS in differentiation of various isomers including glycans, lipids, amino acids, peptides, proteins, as well as metabolite isomers, chiral isomers, etc. are summarized. Prospects for further development of IM-MS for differentiation of isomers, e.g., improved resolving powers of IM-MS instruments and measurement reproducibility, expanded CCS database and coupling of IM-MS with computational approaches, are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115801
JournalTrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Differentiation
  • Ion mobility
  • Isomer
  • Mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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