Published Research - Department of Chemistry


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (2018)

doi 10.1007/s13361-018-2085-9


Copyright © 2018 American Society for Mass Spectrometry. Used by permission.


Steroids represent an interesting class of small biomolecules due to their use as biomarkers and their status as scheduled drugs. Although the analysis of steroids is complicated by the potential for many isomers, ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) has previously shown promise for the rapid separation of steroid isomers. This work is aimed at the further development of IMS separation for the analysis of steroids. Here, traveling wave ion mobility spectrometry (TWIMS) was applied to the study of group I metal adducted steroids and their corresponding multimers for five sets of isomers. Each set of isomers had a minimum of one dimeric metal ion adduct that exhibited a resolution greater than one (i.e., approaching baseline resolution). Additionally, ion-neutral collision cross sections (CCSs) were measured using polyalanine as a calibrant, which may provide an additional metric contributing to analyte identification. Where possible, measured CCSs were compared to previously reported values. When measuring CCSs of steroid isomers using polyalanine as the calibrant, nitrogen CCS values were within 1.0% error for monomeric sodiated adducts and slightly higher for the dimeric sodiated adducts. Overall, TWIMS was found to successfully separate steroids as dimeric adducts of group I metals.

Includes supplementary material.