Techniques that map the distribution of compounds in biological tissues can be invaluable in addressing a number of critical questions in biology and medicine. One of the newer methods, mass spectrometric imaging, has enabled investigation of spatial localization for a variety of compounds ranging from atomics to proteins. The ability of mass spectrometry to detect and differentiate a large number of unlabeled compounds makes the approach amenable to the study of complex biological tissues. This chapter focuses on recent advances in the instrumentation and sample preparation protocols that make mass spectrometric imaging of biological samples possible, including strategies for both tissue and single-cell imaging using the following mass spectrometric ionization methods: matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization, secondary ion, electrospray, and desorption electrospray.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology