Direct measurement of light and heavy antibody chains using ion mobility and middle-down mass spectrometry

Rafael D. Melani*, Kristina Srzentić, Vincent R. Gerbasi, John P. McGee, Romain Huguet, Luca Fornelli, Neil L. Kelleher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The analysis of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) by a middle-down mass spectrometry (MS) approach is a growing field that attracts the attention of many researchers and biopharmaceutical companies. Usually, liquid fractionation techniques are used to separate mAbs polypeptides chains before MS analysis. Gas-phase fractionation techniques such as high-field asymmetric waveform ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS) can replace liquid-based separations and reduce both analysis time and cost. Here, we present a rapid FAIMS tandem MS method capable of characterizing the polypeptide sequence of mAbs light and heavy chains in an unprecedented, easy, and fast fashion. This new method uses commercially available instruments and takes ~24 min, which is 40-60% faster than regular liquid chromatography-MS/MS analysis, to acquire fragmentation data using different dissociation methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1351-1357
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 17 2019



  • gas-phase fractionation
  • light and heavy chains
  • mAb
  • middle-down analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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