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LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry)

A powerful analytical technique that combines the separation capabilities of liquid chromatography with the quantitative and qualitative capabilities of mass spectrometry.

Workflows involving LC-MS Sample Preparation

Sample preparation for LC-MS is the process of extracting, purifying, and concentrating analytes from a sample matrix to be suitable for LC-MS analysis. The primary purpose of LC-MS Sample Preparation is to remove any potential interferences, concentrate the analytes of interest, and make the sample compatible with the LC-MS system to ensure accurate and reliable data. LC-MS Sample Prep is commonly used in these workflows:


Top methods for LC-MS Sample Preparation

Solid Phase Extraction (SPE)

Purpose: Purification and concentration of analytes from complex matrices, removing interfering compounds.

Procedure: The sample is loaded onto a cartridge containing a solid adsorbent. Analytes bind to the adsorbent, and interfering compounds are washed away. Analytes are then eluted using a solvent.

Protein Precipitation

Purpose: Removal of proteins, particularly from biofluids, to isolate small molecules for analysis.

Procedure: Solvents such as acetonitrile or methanol are added to the sample, causing proteins to precipitate. The mixture is centrifuged, and the supernatant containing the desired analytes is collected.

Liquid-Liquid Extraction (LLE)

Purpose: Separation of compounds based on differential solubility in two immiscible liquids.

Procedure: The sample is mixed with an immiscible solvent, leading to partitioning of analytes between the two phases. The layer containing the analytes of interest is separated and collected.


Purpose: Modification of compounds that may not be readily ionizable or detectable, improving their suitability for LC-MS analysis.

Procedure: The sample is reacted with a chemical reagent that modifies the structure or adds a new functional group, enhancing its detectability or altering its retention properties.


Why is LC-MS Sample Preparation so difficult:

LC-MS Sample Prep has never been easier

The OT-2 is a bench-top liquid handler designed to be accessible and flexible enough to automate many common applications.

Benefits of Automation over Manual Pipetting for LC-MS Sample Preparation:

Protocol Spotlights

Opentrons helps you automate LC-MS Sample Prep with open-source protocols for the OT-2 and Opentrons Flex


Want to know more?

Our team of experts can help figure out if automation is right for you. Book a virtual demo to discuss your workflow needs with an expert.