The application of Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR MS) to the structural elucidation of oligosaccharides is described. This review covers the analyses of oligosaccharides in the context of the unique features of FTICR MS and the improvements in instrumentation that make it possible to study this class of compounds. It consists of work performed initially to understand the fundamental aspects of oligosaccharide ionisation and unimolecular fragmentation. More recent investigation includes the application of the technique to samples of direct biological origin. Chemical and enzymatic degradation methods in conjunction with mass spectrometry (MS) and the use front-end methods with FTICR MS are also discussed. The current applications including the characterization of bacterial lipooligosaccharides and phosporylated carbohydrates are described.
- Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry
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