Thin layer chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry for direct analysis of raw samples

Bin Hu, Gui Zhong Xin, Pui Kin So, Zhongping Yao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Conventional mass spectrometric analysis of raw samples commonly requires sample pretreatment and chromatographic separation using high performance liquid chromatography or gas chromatography, which could be time-consuming and laborious. In this study, thin layer chromatography (TLC) coupled with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) was developed for direct analysis of raw samples. The sorbent material of the TLC plate was found to be able to retain the interfering compounds and allow interested analytes to be extracted, ionized and detected by ESI-MS with much reduced matrix interference. Our results showed that this method could be effectively applied in direct analysis of samples containing common interfering compounds, e.g., salts and detergents, and rapid detection and quantitation of target analytes in raw samples. Offline and online separation and detection of different components in mixture samples, e.g., plant extracts, using TLC-ESI-MS were also demonstrated. Overall, this study revealed that TLC-ESI-MS could be a simple, rapid and efficient method for analysis of raw samples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-160
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2015


  • Direct analysis
  • Electrospray ionization
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Matrix interference
  • Thin layer chromatography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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