Mass Spectrometry for the Novice: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Mass Spectrometry for the Novice

1st Edition

By John Greaves, John Roboz

CRC Press

309 pages | 166 B/W Illus.

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With usage of mass spectrometry continually expanding, an increasing number of scientists, technicians, students, and physicians are coming into contact with this valuable technique. Mass spectrometry has many uses, both qualitative and quantitative, from analyzing simple gases to environmental contaminants, pharmaceuticals, and complex biopolymers. The extraordinary versatility can make mass spectrometers daunting to novices. Consequently, new users would benefit greatly from an understanding of the basic concepts as well as the processes that occur in these instruments. Mass Spectrometry for the Novice provides exactly that, with detailed, straightforward descriptions and clear illustrations of principles of operations and techniques.

The book begins with an overview that includes essential definitions and then provides information on the components of and the strategies used in the most common instruments. The authors discuss the methodologies available, classes of compounds analyzed, and the types of data that can be generated. A group of representative applications from published articles is summarized, demonstrating the diversity of mass spectrometry. The authors also condense the essentials of the topic into one invaluable chapter that provides a set of concise take-home messages on all aspects of mass spectrometry. The final section provides a collection of resources including books, reviews, and useful websites.

Using simple language, new color figures, clever cartoons, and assuming no prior knowledge, this book provides a readily understandable entrée to mass spectrometry. A CD-ROM with selected figures and cartoons is included.

Table of Contents

An Overview

A Brief History

Definitions Concerning Instruments, Mass, m/z, and Ions

Components of Instrument and Their Functions

Definitions Concerning Instrument Performance

Definitions Concerning Applications

Information from Mass Spectra

Diversity and Scope of Applications


Sample Introduction

Ion Sources and Methods of Ionization

Mass Analyzers

Ion Current Detectors

Vacuum Systems

Data Systems

Methodologies and Strategies

Measures of Instrument Performance

Interpretation of Mass Spectra

Analytical Techniques and Strategies



Imaging Mass Spectrometry


Buying a Mass Spectrometer

Examples from Representative Publications

An Open-Access Mass Spectrometry Facility

Environmental: Organochlorines in Fish

Environmental: Pharmaceuticals in Surface and Wastewaters

Pharmacology: Lipitor Metabolism

New Techniques: Paper Spray of Pharmaceuticals

Petroleomics: Crude Oil Characterization

Metabolomics: Disease Markers for a Tropical Disease

Metabolomics: Chemical Defense

Lipidomics: Coronary Artery Disease

Proteomics: Protein Identification in a Painting

Proteomics: Protein Identification and Metastasis

Proteomics: Noncovalent Interactions

Tissue Imaging

The Absolute Essentials


Instrument Components

Performance Parameters

Techniques and Strategies


Books, Journals, Review Articles, Classical Publications

Major Instrument Manufacturers

Mass Spectrometry Societies, Blogs, and Discussion Groups

The Mass Spectrometrist and the Internet

About the Authors

John Greaves is director of the Mass Spectrometry Facility in the Department of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine. He received his BSc in zoology and genetics from Leeds University in 1975 and a PhD, on the pharmacology of the antimalarial Primaqiune, from Liverpool University/Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 1979. On moving to the United States, he spent five years at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and seven years at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, where he was involved with cancer and environmental research, respectively. He moved to the University of California, Irvine in 1992 where he has been particularly interested in the use of open access mass spectrometry to enable scientists lacking experience in the technique facilitate their research by obtaining mass spectrometric data rapidly, on a 24/7 basis. He has more than 80 publications.

John Roboz is a professor in the Department of Medicine (Div. Hematology/Medical Oncology), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York. He holds a BS degree (1955) from Eotvos University, Budapest, Hungary, and MS (1960) and PhD (1962) degrees in physical chemistry from New York University. In 1969, he joined the Mount Sinai School of Medicine as an associate professor and became a professor in 1980. His research interests have been the development of mass spectrometric techniques for new antineoplastic agents and their application in collaborative studies with basic scientists and clinicians. Dr. Roboz has more than 135 publications. His first book, Introduction to Mass Spectrometry: Instrumentation and Techniques (Wiley, 1968) was reprinted in 2000 by the American Society for Mass Spectrometry in the Classic Works in Mass Spectrometry series. His second book, in 2002, Mass Spectrometry in Cancer Research (CRC Press), won a commendation award from the British Medical Association.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Biochemistry
SCIENCE / Chemistry / Industrial & Technical
SCIENCE / Physics