Mass spectrometry (MS) is an instrumental method for identifying the chemical constitution of a substance by means of the separation of gaseous ions according to their differing mass and charge.
The spectra are used to determine the elemental or isotopic signature of a sample, the masses of particles and of molecules, and to elucidate the chemical structures of molecules such as peptides proteins and other chemical compounds (polymers for example).
Mass spectrometry works by ionizing chemical compounds to generate charged molecules or molecule fragments and measuring their mass-to-charge ratios.
Mass spectrometry has applications in biology, chemistry and physics. Domains like Medicine , pharmacology, Environment, forensics, polymers studies, Surface analysis strongly needs mass spectrometry.
When we refer to biological mass spectrometry we refer to -omic sciences:
- Proteomics (study of proteins)
- Lipidomics (study of lipids)
- Glycomics (study of glycans)