Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

DNA Mass Spectrometry at NIST



Peter M. Vallone


The use of mass spectrometry as a tool for solving biochemical problems is growing. Specifically, matrix assisted laser desorption ionization coupled with time-of-flight detection systems (MALDI-TOF) is emerging for high throughput and highaccuracy applications such as genotyping and protein analysis. At NIST the potential of mass spectrometry for nucleic acid based technologies is being evaluated. Applications include quality control of multiplex PCR primer kits, detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms on the Y chromosome and in mitochondrial DNA, and the determination of previously unknown PCR primer sequences.The primary spectrometer in our laboratory is a MALDI-TOF device equipped with a gridless ion reflector detector for improved mass resolution. A second MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer is also available for comparisons. A commercial robotic system is used for assay development and MALDI sample preparation. The robotic system provides a fast and accurate means to prepare a large number of samples to evaluate high throughput capabilities of the mass spectrometer.
DNA Mass Spectrometry at NIST


biochemistry, genotyping, laser desorption ionization, mass spectrometry, protein analysis


Vallone, P. (2001), DNA Mass Spectrometry at NIST, DNA Mass Spectrometry at NIST (Accessed February 26, 2024)
Created February 1, 2001, Updated February 17, 2017