Effect of Electrode Geometry on the Classification Performance of Rapid Evaporative Ionization Mass Spectrometric (REIMS) Bacterial Identification

Zsolt Bodai, Simon Cameron, Frances Bolt, Daniel Simon, Richard Schaffer, Tamas Karancsi, Julia Balog, Tony Rickards, Adam Burke, Kate Hardiman, Julia Abda, Monica Rebec, Zoltan Takats

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The recently developed automated, high-throughput monopolar REIMS platform is suited for the identification of clinically important microorganisms. Although already comparable to the previously reported bipolar forceps method, optimization of the geometry of monopolar electrodes, at the heart of the system, holds the most scope for further improvements to be made. For this, sharp tip and round shaped electrodes were optimized to maximize species-level classification accuracy. Following optimization of the distance between the sample contact point and tube inlet with the sharp tip electrodes, the overall cross-validation accuracy improved from 77% to 93% in negative and from 33% to 63% in positive ion detection modes, compared with the original 4 mm distance electrode. As an alternative geometry, round tube shaped electrodes were developed. Geometry optimization of these included hole size, number, and position, which were also required to prevent plate pick-up due to vacuum formation. Additional features, namely a metal "X"-shaped insert and a pin in the middle were included to increase the contact surface with a microbial biomass to maximize aerosol production. Following optimization, cross-validation scores showed improvement in classification accuracy from 77% to 93% in negative and from 33% to 91% in positive ion detection modes. Supervised models were also built, and after the leave 20% out cross-validation, the overall classification accuracy was 98.5% in negative and 99% in positive ion detection modes. This suggests that the new generation of monopolar REIMS electrodes could provide substantially improved species level identification accuracies in both polarity detection modes. Graphical abstract.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-33
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number1
Early online date16 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


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