Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) technology does not require specific labels and has high spatial resolution. Provides structural information of the target while imaging the target. MSI technology can perform imaging analysis on small and large molecules in a wide range of mass-to-charge ratio. MALDI-MSI mainly uses the matrix to absorb laser energy, and then transfers the energy to the sample molecules and ionizes them. MALDI-MSI can directly obtain imaging spectra of biological tissues that have not been pre-processed and specifically labeled.
In lipidomics research, MALDI imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS) is a powerful tool for studying the distribution of lipids in tissues. Tissue is the main manifestation of a very wide range of diseases, so it is one of the main pillars of clinical research and diagnosis. The study of morphology and molecular tissue characteristics is the basis for generating knowledge about clinical pathological entities, diagnosis, prediction and prognosis. The lipid composition varies from tissue to tissue, even within various cells of the tissue. MALDI-IMS can reveal the characteristic distribution of various lipids in various tissues.
The versatility of MALDI-IMS opens up new areas in many fields, including but not limited to:
Creative Proteomics provides a well-established solution of MALDI-Imaging. Up to a thousand lipid species can be detected, and the result provides both molecular–histological maps from the localization and identification of lipid biomolecules based on mass-to-charge ratio (m/z). Imaging data may be normalized to the total ion current to calculate lipid abundances and subject to statistical test appropriate for the experimental questions.
Fig 1. The workflow of MALDI-MSI analysis (Smith et al., 2017)
We routinely cover a rich variety of tissue types, including mammals, plants for our customer. The preferred samples for MALDI-IMS consist of fresh-frozen and chemically unmodified tissue.
Ionization efficiency is partly dependent on the thickness of the tissue section. In general, 5- to 20-μm-thick sections are prepared for the analysis of low-molecular-weight molecules.
In conventional MALDI-MS analyses, choosing the appropriate matrix is the most important step. Generally, 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHB) and 9-aminoacridine (9-AA) are used as suitable matrices for lipids and small metabolites.
If you have any questions about our MALDI-imaging services, please contact us.