Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is a powerful tool in metabolomics and proteomics for the spatial localization and identification of pharmaceuticals, metabolites, lipids, peptides and proteins in biological tissues. However, sample preparation remains a crucial variable in obtaining the most accurate distributions. Common washing steps used to remove salts, and solvent-based matrix application, allow analyte spreading to occur. Solvent-free matrix applications can reduce this risk, but increase the possibility of ionisation bias due to matrix adhesion to tissue sections. We report here the use of matrix-free MSI using laser desorption ionisation performed on a 12 T Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometer. We used unprocessed tissue with no post-processing following thaw-mounting on matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation (MALDI) indium-tin oxide (ITO) target plates. The identification and distribution of a range of phospholipids in mouse brain and kidney sections are presented and compared with previously published MALDI time-of-flight (TOF) MSI distributions.
- brain chemistry
- Fourier analysis
- tin compounds
- matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization