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Bioimaging TOF-SIMS: High resolution 3D imaging of single cells.

Journal article
Authors Håkan Nygren
Birgit Hagenhoff
Per Malmberg
Mikael Nilsson
Katrin Richter
Published in Microscopy research and technique
Volume 70
Issue 11
Pages 969-74
ISSN 1059-910X
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Pages 969-74
Language en
Keywords Cell Line, Tumor, Humans, Imaging, Three-Dimensional, Ions, analysis, Mass Spectrometry, Phosphorylcholine, analysis, Potassium, analysis, Sodium, analysis
Subject categories Cell and Molecular Biology, Chemistry


The distribution of phosphocholine ions (m/z 184, m/z 86), sodium ions, and potassium ions in thyroid tumor cells was analyzed by imaging TOF-SIMS. Repeated sputtering with a C(60) (+) source and subsequent analysis with a Bi(3) (+) gun produced a series of 138 images that were stacked to make a 3D display of the chemistry of cells. Phosphocholine was seen in the plasma membrane (m/z 184) and intracellular membranes (m/z 86). The different fragmentation of the phospholipid probably reflects the chemical composition of membranes at these sites. High intensity of secondary ion signals of potassium was seen in membrane-encompassed cellular compartments. The data indicate that potassium ions are compartmentalized in thyroid tumor cells.

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