Dithranol as a matrix for matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging on a fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer

Cuong H. Le, Jun Han, Christoph H. Borchers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) determines the spatial localization and distribution patterns of compounds on the surface of a tissue section, mainly using MALDI (matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization)-based analytical techniques. New matrices for small-molecule MSI, which can improve the analysis of low-molecular weight (MW) compounds, are needed. These matrices should provide increased analyte signals while decreasing MALDI background signals. In addition, the use of ultrahigh-resolution instruments, such as Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometers, has the ability to resolve analyte signals from matrix signals, and this can partially overcome many problems associated with the background originating from the MALDI matrix. The reduction in the intensities of the metastable matrix clusters by FTICR MS can also help to overcome some of the interferences associated with matrix peaks on other instruments. High-resolution instruments such as the FTICR mass spectrometers are advantageous as they can produce distribution patterns of many compounds simultaneously while still providing confidence in chemical identifications. Dithranol (DT; 1,8-dihydroxy-9,10-dihydroanthracen-9-one) has previously been reported as a MALDI matrix for tissue imaging. In this work, a protocol for the use of DT for MALDI imaging of endogenous lipids from the surfaces of mammalian tissue sections, by positive-ion MALDI-MS, on an ultrahigh-resolution hybrid quadrupole FTICR instrument has been provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere50733
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number81
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Analytical
  • Basic protocol
  • Bovine lens
  • Chemistry technique
  • Dithranol
  • Eye
  • FTICR (Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance)
  • Issue 81
  • Lipid
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Matrix
  • Matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)
  • Molecular imaging
  • Tandem mass spectrometry
  • Tissue imaging


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