Matrix application continues to be a critical step in sample preparation for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging (MSI). Imaging of small molecules such as drugs and metabolites is particularly problematic because the commonly used washing steps to remove salts are usually omitted as they may also remove the analyte, and analyte spreading is more likely with conventional wet matrix application methods. We have developed a method which uses the application of matrix as a dry, finely divided powder, here referred to as dry matrix application, for the imaging of drug compounds. This appears to offer a complementary method to wet matrix application for the MALDI-MSI of small molecules, with the alternative matrix application techniques producing different ion profiles, and allows the visualization of compounds not observed using wet matrix application methods. We demonstrate its value in imaging clozapine from rat kidney and 4-bromophenyl-1,4-diazabicyclo(3.2.2)nonane-4-carboxylic acid from rat brain. In addition, exposure of the dry matrix coated sample to a saturated moist atmosphere appears to enhance the visualization of a different set of molecules.
- heterocyclic bicyclo compounds
- brain chemistry
- inbred BB rats
- Wistar rats
- matrix-assisted laser