A chemometrics-based data analysis concept has been developed as a substitute for manual inspection of extracted ion chromatograms (XICs), which facilitates rapid, analyst-mediated interpretation of GC- and LC/MS (n) data sets from samples undergoing qualitative batchwise screening for prespecified sets of analytes. Automatic preparation of data into two-dimensional row space-derived scatter plots (row space plots) eliminates the need to manually interpret hundreds to thousands of XICs per batch of samples while keeping all interpretation of raw data directly in the hands of the analyst - saving great quantities of human time without loss of integrity in the data analysis process. For a given analyte, two analyte-specific variables are automatically collected by a computer algorithm and placed into a data matrix (i.e., placed into row space): the first variable is the ion abundance corresponding to scan number x and analyte-specific m/z value y, and the second variable is the ion abundance corresponding to scan number x and analyte-specific m/z value z (a second ion). These two variables serve as the two axes of the aforementioned row space plots. In order to collect appropriate scan number (retention time) information, it is necessary to analyze, as part of every batch, a sample containing a mixture of all analytes to be tested. When pure standard materials of tested analytes are unavailable, but representative ion m/z values are known and retention time can be approximated, data are evaluated based on two-dimensional scores plots from principal component analysis of small time range(s) of mass spectral data. The time-saving efficiency of this concept is directly proportional to the percentage of negative samples and to the total number of samples processed simultaneously.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry