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3D imaging of biological specimen using MS

Journal article
Authors John S. Fletcher
Published in Bioanalysis
Volume 7
Issue 20
Pages 2657-2666
ISSN 1757-6180
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 2657-2666
Language en
Keywords ion mass-spectrometry, tetrahymena-pyriformis, c-60, cells, tissue, beams, time, reconstruction, visualization, resolution
Subject categories Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Imaging MS can provide unique information about the distribution of native and nonnative compounds in biological specimen. MALDI MS and secondary ion MS are the two most commonly applied imaging MS techniques and can provide complementary information about a sample. MALDI offers access to high mass species such as proteins while secondary ion MS can operate at higher spatial resolution and provide information about lower mass species including elemental signals. Imaging MS is not limited to two dimensions and different approaches have been developed that allow 3D molecular images to be generated of chemicals in whole organs down to single cells. Resolution in the z-dimension is often higher than in x and y, so such analysis offers the potential for probing the distribution of drug molecules and studying drug action by MS with a much higher precision - possibly even organelle level.

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