Markus Stoeckli, Pierre Chaurand, Dennis E. Hallahan & Richard M. Caprioli
Nature Medicine 2001, 7, pp 493 – 496
The molecular specificity and sensitivity of mass spectrometry (MS) has been employed in a new technology for direct mapping and imaging of biomolecules present in tissue sections. This technology has been developed using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization MS (MALDI MS) and has been initially targeted for the analysis of peptides and proteins present on or near the surface of tissue sections2. Imaging MS brings a new tool to bear on the problem of unraveling and understanding the molecular complexities of cells. It joins techniques such as immunochemistry and fluorescence microscopy for the study of the spatial arrangement of molecules within biological tissues. Many previous experiments using MS to image samples have focused on the measurement of the distribution of elements and small molecules in biological specimens, including tissue slices and individual cells.