Multisensor Imaging—From Sample Preparation to Integrated Multimodal Interpretation of LA-ICPMS and MALDI MS Imaging Data

Matthias Holzlechner, Maximilian Bonta, Hans Lohninger, Andreas Limbeck , and Martina Marchetti-Deschmann

Institute of Chemical Technologies and Analytics, TU Wien

Laterally resolved chemical analysis (chemical imaging) has increasingly attracted attention in the Life Sciences during the past years. While some developments have provided improvements in lateral resolution and speed of analysis, there is a trend toward the combination of two or more analysis techniques, so-called multisensor imaging, for providing deeper information into the biochemical processes within one sample. In this work, a human malignant pleural mesothelioma sample from a patient treated with cisplatin as a cytostatic agent has been analyzed using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS). While LA-ICPMS was able to provide quantitative information on the platinum distribution along with the distribution of other elemental analytes in the tissue sample, MALDI MS could reveal full information on lipid distributions, as both modes of polarity, negative and positive, were used for measurements. Tandem MS experiments verified the occurrence of distinct lipid classes. All imaging analyses were performed using a lateral resolution of 40 μm, providing information with excellent depth of details. By analyzing the very same tissue section, it was possible to perfectly correlate the obtained analyte distribution information in an evaluation approach comprising LA-ICPMS and MALDI MS data. Correlations between platinum, phosphorus, and lipid distributions were found by the use of advanced statistics. The present proof-of-principle study demonstrates the benefit of data combination for outcomes beyond one method imaging modality and highlights the value of advanced chemical imaging in the Life Sciences.

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