Journal of Chinese Pharmaceutical Sciences ›› 2020, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (8): 577-590.DOI: 10.5246/jcps.2020.08.054

• A series of reviews on the “application of modern instruments and technologies in drug research” • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry for drug and metabolite analysis

Wen Ma*, Shuxiang Song, Jun Li*   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing 100191, China
  • Received:2020-04-26 Revised:2020-05-17 Online:2020-08-31 Published:2020-06-23
  • Contact: Tel.: +86-10-82805103, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs (Peking University) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 21804123).


Surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (SALDI-MS) uses inorganic nanomaterials as matrixes to facilitate desorption and ionization of analytes. Compared with the traditional matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) technique, SALDI-MS has the advantages of less interference in the low mass range, better reproducibility and higher salt tolerance. It is highly suitable for the analysis of small molecule compounds. In recent years, researchers have developed a range of nanomaterials that are successfully applied to the field of small molecule drug and metaboliteanalysis including drug screening and quantification, drug delivery, metabolite profiling, biomarker discovery and so forth. This review summarizes the latest progress of SALDI-MS matrix materials such as metal-based, carbon-based, silica-based nanomaterials and organic framework nanomaterials and their applications. In addition, our perspective of SALDI-MS technology is also discussed for further advancement.

Key words: Laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry, Drug analysis, Metabolite detection, Nanomaterial

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