Introduction

1.1. GENERAL REMARKS

This Atlas contains Curie-point pyrolysis mass spectra of a selection of biomaterials. As outlined in the Preface, this collection of spectra is primarily intended to aid in the evaluation of spectra of complex materials and unknowns and to give an impression of the typical fragment series that are obtained from various groups of biomolecular compounds. Thus, a subdivision into the following groups is made:

Group A. Carbohydrates and glycoconjugates (Spectra A.l - A.27).

Group B. Peptides and proteins (Spectra B.l - B.13).

Group C. Nucleotides and nucleic acids (Spectra C.l - C.9).

Group E. Natural products (Spectra E.l - E.16).

Group F. Humic materials and geopolymers (Spectra F.l - F.29).

Group G. Other biochemically important compounds (drugs, vitamins, metabolites, etc.) (Spectra G.l - G.ll). Group H. Polymers of non-biological origin (plastics, resins, etc.) (Spectra H.l - H.13).

Synthetic polymers (Group H) are included since these may be present as contaminants in biochemical samples or may serve as model compounds for some biomaterials.

1.2. SAMPLE PREPARATION

In most cases the compounds were applied to the Curie-point wires from fine suspensions in methanol, prepared by sonication. To our experience methanol is the most generally applicable (ref. 101) and inert solvent and produces few residual fragment peaks. As mentioned already in Part I (Sections 2.3 and 4.1), changing the suspension or solution medium (solvent, ionic strength, pH, etc.) may drastically influence the constitution of the pyrolysate of a particular compound. In order to give an impression of the influence of the medium, some of the compounds were also analysed in phosphate-buffered saline solution (PBS; 0.01 M phosphate, 0.145 M Cl" and 0.17 M Na+, pH 7.2), a frequently used solvent in biochemistry, biology and medicine. In many of our applications of Py-MS to the analysis of biochemical fractions and cells, this solvent was Used to standardise ionic strength and pH conditions (refs. 49, 96, 158, 165).

Unless otherwise stated, solution or suspension concentrations were in the range of 0.1-0.3%. All commercial products analysed were used without further purification. Solvents were of analytical reagent grade. Generally, evaporation of the solvent from the Curie-point wires was carried out at reduced pressure under constant rotation of the wires.

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