Method development for compositional analysis of low molecular weight poly(vinyl acetate) by matrix-assisted/laser desorption-mass spectrometry and its application to analysis of chewing gum

by Tisdale, E.; Wilkins, C.

The influence of the sample preparation parameters (the choice of the solvent and of the matrix:analyte ratio) was investigated and optimal conditions were established for MALDI mass spectrometry analysis of the pristine low molecular weight polyvinyl acetate (PVAc). It was demonstrated that comparison of polymer's and solvent's Hansen solubility parameters could be used as a guide when choosing the solvent for MALDI sample preparation. The highest intensity PVAc signals were obtained when ethyl acetate was used as a solvent along with the lowest matrix-analyte ratio (2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid was used as a matrix in all experiments). The structure of the PVAc was established with high accuracy using the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-Fourier transform mass spectrometry (MALDI-FTMS) analysis. It was demonstrated that PVAc undergoes unimolecular decomposition by losing acetic acid molecules from its backbone under the conditions of FTMS measurements. Number and weight average molecular weights as well as polydispersity indices were determined with both MALDI-TOF and MALDI-FTMS methods. The sample preparation protocol developed was applied to the analysis of a chewing gum and the molecular weight and structure of the polyvinyl acetate present in the sample were established. Thus, it Was shown that optimized MALDI mass spectrometry could be used successfully for characterization of polyvinyl acetate in commercially available chewing gum.

Analytica Chimica Acta
Start Page
1873-4324; 0003-2670