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Anal Chem. 2013 Feb 5;85(3):1415-23. doi: 10.1021/ac302330a. Epub 2013 Jan 15.

Hyperspectral visualization of mass spectrometry imaging data.

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  • 1Biomolecular Medicine, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London, South Kensington, London SW7 2AZ, United Kingdom.


The acquisition of localized molecular spectra with mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) has a great, but as yet not fully realized, potential for biomedical diagnostics and research. The methodology generates a series of mass spectra from discrete sample locations, which is often analyzed by visually interpreting specifically selected images of individual masses. We developed an intuitive color-coding scheme based on hyperspectral imaging methods to generate a single overview image of this complex data set. The image color-coding is based on spectral characteristics, such that pixels with similar molecular profiles are displayed with similar colors. This visualization strategy was applied to results of principal component analysis, self-organizing maps and t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding. Our approach for MSI data analysis, combining automated data processing, modeling and display, is user-friendly and allows both the spatial and molecular information to be visualized intuitively and effectively.

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