MS Sample preparation

Instructions for sample preparation

  • Sample vials should be clearly labeled with the ID and securely attached to the completed submission form. Samples should be deposited in the appropriate trays (ESI/APCI, MALDI, EI/CI, APPI, ICP…) in Rm. 1524, which is normally open from 8-17, Monday -Friday.  For samples that require cold storage prior to analysis – please give them to us or deposit them in the refrigerator and write “In Fridge” on the submission form.
  • In order to ensure the best conditions of analysis, it is recommended to provide lyophilized samples without salts (Tris, phosphate, and sulfate buffers), detergents and polyethylene glycols as they suppress the electrospray signal.
  • 0.1 mg in quantity is generally enough for ESI and MALDI ionization techniques, except for polymer analysis in MALDI that may require in the 1 mg/mL range depending on the type of polymer.  If the sample is provided in liquid state, the solution should be filtered to remove any insoluble material which would otherwise block the sample introduction line. Solvents with the best purity grade should be used.
  • For samples provided in organic solvents, avoid plastic tubes (plasticizers are dissolved by a lots of organic solvents) and use appropriate glass vials to reduce contaminants.
  • Radioactive or highly toxic samples requiring specialist handling will NOT be accepted.
  • For GC-MS analyses, please indicate the boiling point of your compounds on the submission form.

For GC-MS and LC-MS please provide, when known, the experimental conditions usually used for your compound (column, solvents, gradient…).

Instructions to generate a sample submission form in ELN

For the sample submission form, if you don’t have an EPFL login, you should first create a Guest account on the link Then login with this guest user id and PW on For EPFL collaborators, use your Gaspar identification. To create a sample submission form, go to the Home page, click on “Add sample”, enter the name/reference of the sample and submit. Fill the sample description (structure, sequence in Biomolecule…) and save data. Go back to the Home menu, select the sample, click on the proper (orange) request: “peptide Protein Mass request” for a peptidic compound, and “Mass request” for any other organic compound. ICP-MS and ICP-OES requests have also a specific sample submission form, as well as a (deletion) request for a training on an open-access instrument.  Fill the different information’s needed (amount, toxicity, stability, number of sample, goal of analysis….), create request (mainly check of missing information’s) and print the sample submission form. You can bring the sample submission form to the service (BCH 1522) together with the samples. In case of any problem for the sample submission process on, you can contact Dr. Luc Patiny ([email protected]).