In this study maltose, maltotriose and maltotetraose were for the first time, coupled to 4,4′-methylenedianiline (MDA). The aim of this preliminary work was to test the feasibility of oligo- and polysaccharide coupling to MDA and the characterization of the coupling products by high resolution mass spectrometry (MS). (+) nanoESI in combination with a quadrupole time of flight (QTOF) MS in full scan (MS) and MS/MS was optimized first on underivatized maltose, maltotriose and maltotetraose. The optimal screening and sequencing conditions were further applied to the MDA-functionalized oligosaccharides. The obtained results revealed a straightforward MS detection of the functionalized oligomers, high sequence coverage and a fragmentation pathway with the formation of B and Y ions as well as the complementary C and Z ions along with a typical cleavage of the aglycon. We consider that this methodology is fully applicable also to polydisperse mixtures of long chain polysaccharides, which due to the large number of components and their size require a systematic method of development and testing. <alternatives> [...] </alternatives>
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