A novel workflow control system for Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry allows for unique on-the-fly data-dependent decisions
In this paper a novel workflow-based data acquisition and control system for Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR-MS) is presented that facilitates a fast on-the-fly decision-making process for a wide variety of data-dependent experiments. Several new workflow implementations demonstrate the flexibility and benefit of this approach for rapid dynamic experimental design on a chromatographic timescale. The different sequence, evaluation, decision and monitoring modules are described using a selected set of examples. During a tandem liquid chromatography (LC)/FTICR-MS experiment the system is used to dynamically switch between various dissociation techniques such as electron capture dissociation (ECD) and sustained off-resonance irradiation (SORI) depending on the charge state of a tryptic peptide peak. The use of this workflow-based system for imaging FTICR-MS using a desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) source demonstrates the possibility of external control of the workflow by feedback from an imaging sample stage.