Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Is using formic acid in your buffers stupid? Get 2x more signal with acetic acid!


I'm not going to name any names, but it sure wasn't MY idea to use formic acid. I'd never even heard of the stuff before I got hands on my first LCMS system. I have some vague impression that you can use it to kill ants. This group probably made a mistake and accidentally tried a different acid that doesn't break down in light at room temperature and -- BOOM --

2.5x more TIC signal??? 

Check with your vendor to make sure your system and pump seals and stuff are all compatible with this. You don't want to be on stage talking about a big buffer optimization study for endogenous peptides you got funded and the first "question" from the audience is a vendor rep informing you that most of those buffer additives will void the warranty on your system. About 120 people saw this happen once and it was really funny. If they aren't definitely make sure you keep buffers around to swap out whenever someone comes on-site. The buffer containing DMSO should NEVER say DMSO on it. It should say "He sparged" or some other made-up phrase. 

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