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  1. Three-dimensional (3D) dried blood spheroids form when whole blood is deposited onto hydrophobic paper and allowed to dry in ambient air. The adsorbed 3D dried blood spheroid present at the surface of the hydrophobic paper is observed to offer enhanced stability for labile analytes that would otherwise degrade if stored in the traditional two-dimensional (2D) dried blood spot method. The protective mechanism for the dried blood spheroid microsampling platform was studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), which revealed the presence of a passivation thin film at the surface of the spheroid that serves to stabilize the interior of the spheroid against environmental stressors. Through time-course experiments based on sequential SEM analyses, we discovered that the surface protective thin film forms through the self-assembly of red blood cells following the evaporation of water from the blood sample. The bridging mechanism of red blood cell aggregation is evident in our experiments, which leads to the distinct rouleau conformation of stacked red blood cells in less than 60 min after creating the blood spheroid. The stack of self-assembled red blood cells at the exterior of the spheroid subsequently lyse to afford the surface protective layer detected to be approximately 30 μm in thickness after three weeks of storage in ambient air. We applied this mechanistic insight to plasma and serum to enhance stability when stored under ambient conditions. In addition to physical characterization of these thin biofilms, we also used paper spray (PS) mass spectrometry (MS) to examine chemical changes that occur in the stored biofluid. For example, we present stability data for cocaine spiked in whole blood, plasma, and serum when stored under ambient conditions on hydrophilic and hydrophobic paper substrates. 
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    Positional isomers of alkenes are frequently transparent to the mass spectrometer and it is difficult to provide convincing data to support their presence. This work focuses on the development of a new reactive nano-electrospray ionization (nESI) platform that utilizes non-inert metal electrodes ( e.g. , Ir and Ru) for rapid detection of fatty acids by mass spectrometry (MS), with concomitant localization of the CC bond to differentiate fatty acid isomers. During the electrospray process, the electrical energy (direct current voltage) is harnessed for in situ oxide formation on the electrode surface via electro-oxidation. The as-formed surface oxides are found to facilitate in situ epoxide formation at the CC bond position and the products are analyzed by MS in real-time. This phenomenon has been applied to analyze isomers of unsaturated fatty acids from complex serum samples, without pre-treatment. 
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  4. Analytical characteristics of contained electrospray ionization (ESI) are summarized in terms of its potential to modify the analyte solution during the stages of droplet formation to provide opportunities to generate native versus denatured biomolecular gas-phase ions, without the need for bulk-phase analyte modifications. The real-time modification of the charged microdroplets occurs in a cavity that is included in the outlet of the contained-ESI ion source. Close examination of the inside of the cavity using a high-speed camera revealed the formation of discrete droplets as well as thin liquid films in the droplets wake. When operated at 20 psi N2 pressure, the droplets were observed to move at an average speed of 8 mm/s providing ∼1 s mixing time in a 10 mm cavity length. Evidence is provided for the presence of highly reactive charged droplets based on myoglobin charge state distribution, apo-myoglobin contents, and ion mobility drift time profiles under different spray conditions. Mechanistic insights for the capture of vapor-phase reagents and droplet dynamics as influenced by different operational modes are also described. 
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