Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) has emerged as a powerful analytical technique for visualizing and analyzing the spatial distribution of molecules in biological samples. By combining the capabilities of mass spectrometry with spatial information, MSI offers unique insights into the molecular composition and heterogeneity of tissues, enabling a wide range of biomedical applications. At Creative Bioarray, our advanced high-throughput mass spectrometry platform, MALDI-TOF/TOF, is combined with our expertise to facilitate our clients' scientific research.
Our Advanced High-Throughput Mass Spectrometry Platforms
Creative Bioarray employs an advanced high-throughput mass spectrometry platform, rapifleX MALDI-TOF/TOF, which combines the capabilities of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) with tandem time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometry. This powerful combination allows for the simultaneous analysis of thousands of molecules with high sensitivity and resolution. It can complete a 1 million compound screening system in 2 weeks.
The MALDI-TOF/TOF platform offers several advantages for MSI. It provides higher spatial resolution for detailed examination of molecular distributions at the cellular and subcellular levels. In addition, it can analyze a wide range of molecules including peptides, lipids, metabolites, and small molecules, making it suitable for a variety of applications in biomedical research, such as drug analysis and biomarker screening.
Our Workflow of Mass Spectrometry Imaging
We have developed a detailed workflow for MSI. The process generally consists of three key steps: sample preparation, sample analysis, and data processing.
- Sample preparation - After collection from the animal, the sample is embedded in a supporting medium for sectioning onto slides. Other sample processing, such as applications of enzymes, matrix, or derivatization agents, may be performed depending on the molecular species of interest or the instrument being used.
- Sample analysis - A laser is used to ionize molecules. After acquiring a spectrum at each (x, y) grid point on the tissue, sophisticated software tools are used to process and visualize the data.
- Data processing - After preprocessing the data (e.g., baseline correction), the distribution of selected molecules can be visualized. From there, identification of the m/z values and statistical analysis between different images or image co-registration with other image modalities can occur.
Mass Spectrometry Imaging for Biomedical Applications
The versatility of MSI opens up a myriad of applications in the field of biomedical research. Here, we highlight some of the key areas where MSI has made a significant impact.
Drug distribution and metabolism studies
MSI provides a powerful tool for visualizing and quantifying the spatial distribution of metabolites and drugs within biological samples. By mapping the distribution of metabolites and drugs, researchers can gain insights into pharmacokinetics, drug efficacy, and potential adverse effects.
Metabolic pathway studies in diseases
Diseases cause changes in the content and distribution of a series of substances in metabolic pathways. MSI can be used to study these changes, and thus analyze the mechanism and pathway of the disease.
Evaluation of drug efficacy
MSI offers a unique approach to evaluating drug efficacy by visualizing the molecular changes induced by treatments within tissues. By comparing treated and untreated samples, researchers can identify molecular markers associated with treatment response or resistance.
High-throughput screening for biomarkers
The high-throughput screening mode enables rapid screening of potential biomarkers for disease typing and prognosis.