Mass spectrometric imaging (MSI) integrates multiple fields of analytical and biomedical research with the goal of generating chemical maps that present the identity and location of the elements, molecules, and molecular complexes that comprise biological structures. Rapid advances in the development of MSI, which include a broad range of sampling and mass spectrometry strategies, allow the increasingly information-rich creation of chemical images of structurally complex tissues, individual cells, and even single chromosomes. Here we describe a variety of MSI techniques available to investigate the nervous system, with particular focus on the capability of MSI to examine both normal and diseased brain function, An important investigative tool, MSI offers tremendous potential in fundamental studies of brain chemistry, localization of pharmaceutical compounds, and the discovery of biomarkers for different neuropathologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3325-3334
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Issue number32
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Biomarker discovery
  • Mass spectrometric imaging
  • SIMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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