Spectral binning as an approach to post-acquisition processing of high resolution FIE-MS metabolome fingerprinting data

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Flow infusion electrospray high resolution mass spectrometry (FIE-HRMS) fingerprinting produces complex, high dimensional data sets which require specialist in-silico software tools to process the data prior to analysis.

Present spectral binning as a pragmatic approach to post-acquisition procession of FIE-HRMS metabolome fingerprinting data.

A spectral binning approach was developed that included the elimination of single scan m/z events, the binning of spectra and the averaging of spectra across the infusion profile. The modal accurate m/z was then extracted for each bin. This approach was assessed using four different biological matrices and a mix of 31 known chemical standards analysed by FIE-HRMS using an Exactive Orbitrap. Bin purity and centrality metrics were developed to objectively assess the distribution and position of accurate m/z within an individual bin respectively.

The optimal spectral binning width was found to be 0.01 amu. 80.8% of the extracted accurate m/z matched to predicted ionisation products of the chemical standards mix were found to have an error of below 3 ppm. The open-source R package binneR was developed as a user friendly implementation of the approach. This was able to process 100 data files using 4 Central Processing Units (CPU) workers in only 55 seconds with a maximum memory usage of 1.36 GB.

Spectral binning is a fast and robust method for the post-acquisition processing of FIE-HRMS data. The open-source R package binneR allows users to efficiently process data from FIE-HRMS experiments with the resources available on a standard desktop computer.
Original languageEnglish
Article number64
Number of pages9
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 02 Aug 2022


  • Mass spectrometry
  • Metabolomic fingerprinting
  • Post-acquisition processing
  • Software


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