High-field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry and native mass spectrometry: analysis of intact protein assemblies and protein complexes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes


High-field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS) enables the separation of ions on the basis of their differential mobility in an asymmetric oscillating electric field. We, and others, have previously demonstrated the benefits of FAIMS for the analysis of peptides and denatured proteins. To date, FAIMS has not been integrated with native mass spectrometry of folded proteins and protein complexes, largely due to concerns over the heating effects associated with the high electric fields employed. Here, we demonstrate the newly introduced cylindrical FAIMS Pro device coupled with an Orbitrap Eclipse enables analysis of intact protein assemblies up to 147 kDa. No evidence for dissociation was detected suggesting that any field heating is insufficient to disrupt the noncovalent interactions governing these assemblies. Moreover, the FAIMS device was integrated into native liquid extraction surface analysis (LESA) MS of protein assemblies directly from thin tissue sections. Intact tetrameric hemoglobin (64 kDa) and trimeric reactive intermediate deiminase A (RidA, 43 kDa) were detected. Improvements in signal-to-noise of between 1.5× and 12× were observed for these protein assemblies on integration of FAIMS.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6811-6816
Number of pages6
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number10
Early online date28 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2020