Glycan Analysis by Ion Mobility-Mass Spectrometry
Hofmann, J. and Pagel, K.* – 2017
Carbohydrates form one of the major classes of biological macromolecules in living organisms. To investigate their properties and function, an in-depth knowledge of their underlying structure is essential. However, the inherent structural complexity of glycans represents a major challenge. Carbohydrates are often branched and exhibit diverse regio- and stereochemistry. This in turn leads to a vast number of possible isomers, which are difficult to distinguish by using established analytical tools. In the last decade, ion mobility–mass spectrometry, a technique that separates ions based on their mass, charge, size, and shape, has emerged as a powerful alternative for isomer distinction. This Minireview highlights recent advances in ion mobility–mass spectrometry of complex carbohydrates and discusses its role in future analysis workflows.