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High Mass Resolution MALDI-Imaging MS: High Stability of Peak Position during Imaging MS Measurement


Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-Imaging MS) is a powerful tool for the biochemical analyses of surfaces. Previously, this technique has been used to determine the spatial distribution of hundreds of unknown compounds in thinly sliced tissue sections. The mass spectral images are generated by changing the laser irradiation point at regular intervals across the sample surface and collecting a mass spectrum for each point. Time-of-flight mass spectrometers (TOFMS) are widely used as the mass analyzer for MALDI-Imaging MS because they are well matched for the MALDI ionization process. However, the fine structure of the matrix crystals and small irregularities in the tissue surface flatness can cause peak drift in the collected mass spectra that is caused by slight differences in the starting point of the flight path for the ions at each laser irradiation point. As a result, the typical reflectron type TOFMS systems have a difficult time achieving high mass resolution from spot to spot over a thinly sliced biological surface. Conversely, the JEOL JMS-S3000 “SpiralTOFTM”, which has 5-10 times longer flight path than the reflectron type TOF, is able to reduce the effect of this mass drift to achieve high mass resolution and high mass accuracy. In this work, we report the advantages of using the SpiralTOF for MALDI-Imaging MS analyses of lipids in a mouse brain tissue section.


A mouse brain tissue section was placed on an ITO conductive glass slide plate. The matrix compound DHB was sprayed onto the surface of the tissue and then the sample was introduced into the mass spectrometer. The Imaging MS measurements were performed on the left half of the brain tissue section (5 mm×7 mm) with 40 μm spatial resolution.

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