Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS) has been used for the discovery of hundreds of novel cell to cell signaling peptides. Beyond its advantages of sensitivity and minimal sample preparation requirements, MALDI MS is attractive for biological analyses as high quality mass spectra may be obtained directly from specific locations within prepared tissue sections. However, due to the large quantity of salts present in physiological tissues, these mass spectra often contain many adducts of cationic salts such as sodium and potassium, in addition to the molecular ion [M + H]+. To reduce the presence of cation adducts in MALDI mass spectra obtained directly from tissues, we present a methodology that uses a slow condensation procedure to enable the formation of distinct regions of matrix/analyte crystals and cation (salt) crystals. Secondary ion mass spectrometric imaging suggests that the salts and MALDI matrix undergo a mutually exclusive crystallization process that results in the separation of the salts and matrix in the sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-242
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Mass Spectrometry
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2007


  • Mass spectrometric imaging
  • Salt
  • Secondary ion mass spectrometry
  • Tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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