Mass spectrometry-based tissue imaging

Carol E. Parker, Derek Smith, Detlev Suckau, Christoph H. Borchers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In MALDI (matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization) mass spectrometry, the sample consists of a thin film of proteins or peptides that has been cocrystallized with a matrix selected to "match" the frequency of a UV laser. The laser vaporizes and ionizes the sample, which is then mass-analyzed, typically in a time-of-flight (TOF) mass analyzer. Since the footprint of the laser is small, and the sample is a solid rather than a solution, it is easy to see how this led to the idea of "rastering" the laser across the sample to form a molecular image. After about ten years of development, MALDI imaging has finally come of age. This is partly due to newer MALDI-MS instrumentation that is capable of higher mass accuracy and resolution, as well as the development of MALDI-MS/MS for gas-phase sequencing. Several commercially-available sprayer/spotters have recently been developed which can produce a uniform coating of matrix on the sample. These sprayer/spotters can also be used to deposit enzyme solutions on targeted areas so that differentially-localized proteins can be identified. This chapter describes some of the recent work in MALDI imaging, as well as some of the clinical applications of this technique. Finally, a new technique is described (MRM MALDI) which allows the quantitation of differentially-localized proteins on the basis of their peptide MS/MS spectra.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Imaging in Biology and Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationTechnology, Software Environments, Applications
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783540689928
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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