Novel algorithm for simultaneous component detection and pseudo-molecular ion characterization in liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry

Yufeng Zhang, Xiaoan Wang, Siukwan Wo, Hingman Ho, Simon Q B HAN, Xiaohui Fan, Zhong Zuo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Resolving components and determining their pseudo-molecular ions (PMIs) are crucial steps in identifying complex herbal mixtures by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. To tackle such labor-intensive steps, we present here a novel algorithm for simultaneous detection of components and their PMIs. Our method consists of three steps: (1) obtaining a simplified dataset containing only mono-isotopic masses by removal of background noise and isotopic cluster ions based on the isotopic distribution model derived from all the reported natural compounds in dictionary of natural products; (2) stepwise resolving and removing all features of the highest abundant component from current simplified dataset and calculating PMI of each component according to an adduct-ion model, in which all non-fragment ions in a mass spectrum are considered as PMI plus one or several neutral species; (3) visual classification of detected components by principal component analysis (PCA) to exclude possible non-natural compounds (such as pharmaceutical excipients). This algorithm has been successfully applied to a standard mixture and three herbal extract/preparations. It indicated that our algorithm could detect components' features as a whole and report their PMI with an accuracy of more than 98%. Furthermore, components originated from excipients/contaminants could be easily separated from those natural components in the bi-plots of PCA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-414
Number of pages13
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Volume853
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

User-Defined Keywords

  • Component detection
  • Isotopic distribution
  • Mono-isotopic mass
  • Natural products
  • Pseudo-molecular ion

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