Intact skin analysis by desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry

Mária Katona, Júlia Dénes, Réka Skoumal, Miklós Tóth, Zoltán Takáts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


In vivo skin analysis by Desorption Electrospray Ionization was characterized on healthy human volunteers by directing pneumatically assisted electrospray directly onto their fingertips. In order to eliminate the risk of electric shock, a high ohmic resistor was built into the system. Positive ion DESI-MS analysis yields low intensity spectra, while negative ion spectra feature a number of various biogenic carboxylic acids. Compounds of external origin and excreted molecules were found to have different analysis kinetics, with the exception of highly hydrophobic species. The difference was demonstrated in the case of nicotine and cotinine. Pharmacokinetic studies were performed using a rat animal model. The kinetics of the anesthetic ketamine was followed by DESI, and results were in agreement with off-line HPLC-MS blood analysis. Using a similar approach for N,N′-dimethylthiourea (DMTU), a novel method was developed for the real-time quantification of oxidative stress. DMTU was administered to the animals, and the ratio of the molecule and its oxidized form was monitored from the skin surface. The ratio was found to be highly sensitive to experimentally induced diabetes mellitus type I and angiotensin-induced chronic oxidative stress. It was concluded that the method has a number of potential applications in the fields of forensics, pharmacology and clinical chemistry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-840
Number of pages6
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 21 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry

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