Mass spectrometry (MS) is a powerful analytical technique for sensitive detection and accurate identification of molecules. We are interested in the development and application novel MS techniques for bioanalysis. Our research is focused on:
(1) Single cell MS. All living organisms are composed of individual cells, whereas cells are different from each other. Traditional cell analysis methods can only provide the averaged results from a population of cells. Single cell analysis can potentially revolutionize approaches for cell biology and pharmaceutical research. We have developed a miniaturized sampling and ionization device, the Single-probe, to be coupled with MS for single cell analysis. The sampling tip (~6-10 μm) can be inserted into individual living cells to sample the intracellular compounds, which are immediately ionized and analyzed by MS in real-time.