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Sensors 2012, 12(4), 4091-4104; doi:10.3390/s120404091
Article

Fast Direct Injection Mass-Spectrometric Characterization of Stimuli for Insect Electrophysiology by Proton Transfer Reaction-Time of Flight Mass-Spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS)

1,2
, 1,3
 and 1,*
Received: 21 January 2012; in revised form: 14 March 2012 / Accepted: 22 March 2012 / Published: 27 March 2012
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Abstract: Electrophysiological techniques are used in insect neuroscience to measure the response of olfactory neurons to volatile odour stimuli. Widely used systems to deliver an olfactory stimulus to a test insect include airstream guided flow through glass cartridges loaded with a given volatile compound on a sorbent support. Precise measurement of the quantity of compound reaching the sensory organ of the test organism is an urgent task in insect electrophysiology. In this study we evaluated the performances of the recent realised proton transfer reaction-time of flight mass-spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS) as a fast and selective gas sensor. In particular, we characterised the gas emission from cartridges loaded with a set of volatile compounds belonging to different chemical classes and commonly used in electrophysiological experiments. PTR-ToF-MS allowed a fast monitoring of all investigated compounds with sufficient sensitivity and time resolution. The detection and the quantification of air contaminants and solvent or synthetic standards impurities allowed a precise quantification of the stimulus exiting the cartridge. The outcome of this study was twofold: on one hand we showed that PTR-ToF-MS allows monitoring fast processes with high sensitivity by real time detection of a broad number of compounds; on the other hand we provided a tool to solve an important issue in insect electrophysiology.
Keywords: electrophysiological techniques; olfactory stimulus; proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometry; real time monitoring; volatile compounds electrophysiological techniques; olfactory stimulus; proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometry; real time monitoring; volatile compounds
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tasin, M.; Cappellin, L.; Biasioli, F. Fast Direct Injection Mass-Spectrometric Characterization of Stimuli for Insect Electrophysiology by Proton Transfer Reaction-Time of Flight Mass-Spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS). Sensors 2012, 12, 4091-4104.

AMA Style

Tasin M, Cappellin L, Biasioli F. Fast Direct Injection Mass-Spectrometric Characterization of Stimuli for Insect Electrophysiology by Proton Transfer Reaction-Time of Flight Mass-Spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS). Sensors. 2012; 12(4):4091-4104.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tasin, Marco; Cappellin, Luca; Biasioli, Franco. 2012. "Fast Direct Injection Mass-Spectrometric Characterization of Stimuli for Insect Electrophysiology by Proton Transfer Reaction-Time of Flight Mass-Spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS)." Sensors 12, no. 4: 4091-4104.


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