Optimizing Mass Spectrometry Analyses: A Tailored Review on the Utility of Design of Experiments

Elizabeth S. Hecht, Ann L. Oberg, David C. Muddiman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Mass spectrometry (MS) has emerged as a tool that can analyze nearly all classes of molecules, with its scope rapidly expanding in the areas of post-translational modifications, MS instrumentation, and many others. Yet integration of novel analyte preparatory and purification methods with existing or novel mass spectrometers can introduce new challenges for MS sensitivity. The mechanisms that govern detection by MS are particularly complex and interdependent, including ionization efficiency, ion suppression, and transmission. Performance of both off-line and MS methods can be optimized separately or, when appropriate, simultaneously through statistical designs, broadly referred to as “design of experiments” (DOE). The following review provides a tutorial-like guide into the selection of DOE for MS experiments, the practices for modeling and optimization of response variables, and the available software tools that support DOE implementation in any laboratory. This review comes 3 years after the latest DOE review (Hibbert DB, 2012), which provided a comprehensive overview on the types of designs available and their statistical construction. Since that time, new classes of DOE, such as the definitive screening design, have emerged and new calls have been made for mass spectrometrists to adopt the practice. Rather than exhaustively cover all possible designs, we have highlighted the three most practical DOE classes available to mass spectrometrists. This review further differentiates itself by providing expert recommendations for experimental setup and defining DOE entirely in the context of three case-studies that highlight the utility of different designs to achieve different goals. A step-by-step tutorial is also provided. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)767-785
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Design of experiments
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Modeling
  • Optimization
  • Tutorial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Spectroscopy


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimizing Mass Spectrometry Analyses: A Tailored Review on the Utility of Design of Experiments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this