Oligonucleotides are short DNA or RNA molecules or oligomers,  that have a wide range of applications in genetic testing, research and forensics. Commonly made in the laboratory by solid-phase chemical synthesis, these small bits of nucleic acids can be manufactured as single-stranded molecules with any user-specified sequence, and so are vital for artificial gene synthesis.

Oligonucleotides are characterized by the sequence of nucleotide residues that make up the entire molecule. The analyzes can be  performed by LC/MS using an ion-pairing reversed phase method where a mixture of HFIP and TEA is used to elicit retention of the polar polyanionic molecule or by MALDI using a 3-Hydroxypicolinic acid with a mixture of Diammonium hydrogen citrate.

The Mass Spectrometry Research Facility operates a Xevo G2 QTof system with ion-pair chromatography, used solely for oligonucleotide analysis. Please contact Elisabete Pires if you wish to use this system.

The oligounucleotides sample submission form can be downloaded here.

Oligonucleotide analysis workflow