WHAT IS MALDI MS IMAGING?

In recent years, matrix assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry has seen many improvements applied to the technique and its applications. Whereas the focus of MALDI before has mostly been on the analysis of peptides and proteins (proteomics), the development and progress of MALDI Imaging have clearly expanded the techniques application. The aim of MALDI Imaging is to provide localized information on diverse analytes in various materials. Predominantly, the examined samples are thin tissue slices of different origins.

MALDI Imaging mass spectrometry enables the visualization of the spatial distribution of proteins, peptides, pharmaceutical compounds and their metabolites, biomarkers or other chemicals within thin slices of sample such as an animal or plant tissue. It is a promising tool for putative biomarker characterization and drug development. As a first step, scientists take tissue slices mounted on microscope slides and apply a suitable MALDI matrix to the tissue, either manually or automatically.

Next, the microscope slide is inserted into a MALDI mass spectrometer. The mass spectrometer acquires mass spectra displaying the included molecular species with an instrument-dependent spatial resolution. Suitable image processing software can then be used to import data from the mass spectrometer to allow visualization and comparison with the optical image of the sample. Recent work has also demonstrated the capacity to create three-dimensional molecular images using the MALDI Imaging technology and co-registration of these image volumes to other imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

These applications are used in biochemistry, organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, clinical chemistry and forensic science.

The advantage of mass spectrometry is its ability to identify a wide diversity of molecules. Those may be small molecules such as drug candidates and their metabolites, as well as larger biomolecules such as peptides and lipids, or even intact proteins.

Due to the diversity of possible applications, MALDI Imaging now plays an important role in many scientific fields. Pharmaceutical research is a major application that can benefit from this technique.

Products for MALDI Imaging sample preparation

  • SunCollect-200-x-200SunCollect

    • Compact and space saving
    • Fast continuous movement
    • Compatible with all possible MALDI targets and glass slides
    • Spraying of proteases and matrix
    • Homogeneous tissue coverage
    • Small crystal size
  • SunCollect-200-x-200SunCollect MALDI Spotter

    • Compact and space saving
    • Fast continuous movement
    • Compatible with all possible MALDI targets and glass slides
    • Spraying of proteases and matrix
    • Homogeneous tissue coverage
    • Small crystal size
  • SunDigest-200-x-200SunDigest

    MALDI IMAGING ENZYMATIC ON-TISSUE DIGESTION