Wei Rao, Ning Pan and Zhibo Yang
J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2015 Jun;26(6):986-93. Epub 2015 Mar 25.
Ambient mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is an emerging field with great potential for the detailed spatial analysis of biological samples with minimal pretreatment. We have developed a miniaturized sampling and ionization device, the Single-probe, which uses in-situ surface micro-extraction to achieve high detection sensitivity and spatial resolution during MSI experiments. The Single-probe was coupled to a Thermo LTQ Orbitrap XL mass spectrometer and was able to create high spatial and high mass resolution MS images at 8 ± 2 and 8.5 μm on flat polycarbonate microscope slides and mouse kidney sections, respectively, which are among the highest resolutions available for ambient MSI techniques. Our proof-of-principle experiments indicate that the Single-probe MSI technique has the potential to obtain ambient MS images with very high spatial resolutions with minimal sample preparation, which opens the possibility for subcellular ambient tissue MSI to be performed in the future.