Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI)

The Mass Spectrometry Center's expertise and available applications in mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) are outlined below.

Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is an established technique that has revolutionized biomedical and pharmacological investigations. MSI is rapidly becoming an indispensable tool across multiple research fields due to its versatility in molecular compound analysis and ability to provide spatial information within a tissue or organ section. MSI combines the high spectral sensitivity and accuracy of mass spectrometry for identification of endogenous and exogenous molecules, with histology-like information on their spatial distribution within tissue sections, in a label-free untargeted manner for multiplex analysis. The result is the simultaneous detection of hundreds of molecules that can be displayed as single or multiple ion images producing molecular histology-like datasets. MSI is being applied to proteins and their modifications, peptides, lipids, metabolites, carbohydrates, hormones, and drugs and their metabolites.

Applications include:

  • Disease characterization and biomarker investigations
    • Carcinomas
    • Inter-and intra-tumor heterogeneity
    • Inflammatory diseases
    • Fibrosis
    • Bacterial infections and manifestations
    • Neurological diseases
    • Radiation syndromes
    • Cell cultures and 3D spheroids
    • Bacterial colonies and biofilms
  • Drug development
    • Pharmacokinetics
    • Pharmacodynamics

The Mass Spectrometry Center has two instruments currently used for imaging investigations, the Bruker Ultraflextreme MALDI-TOF/TOF, and the Bruker SolariX XR 12T Hybrid QqFT-ICR mass spectrometer. The Center currently has collaborative imaging projects in progress characterizing radiation syndromes, inflammatory diseases, bacterial infections, and drug development studies.