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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2007 Jan;18(1):145-51. Epub 2006 Oct 19.

Imaging of peptides in the rat brain using MALDI-FTICR mass spectrometry.

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FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Analytical methods are pursued to measure the identity and location of biomolecules down to the subcellular (microm) level. Available mass spectrometric imaging methods either compromise localization accuracy or identification accuracy in their analysis of surface biomolecules. In this study, imaging FTICR-MS is applied for the spatially resolved mass analysis of rat brain tissue with the aim to optimize protein identification by the high mass accuracy and online MS/MS capabilities of the technique. Mass accuracies up to 6 ppm were obtained in the direct MALDI-analysis of the tissue together with a spatial resolution of 200 microm. The spatial distributions of biomolecules differing in mass by less than 0.1 Da could be resolved, and are shown to differ significantly. Online MS/MS analysis of selected ions was demonstrated. A comparison of the FTICR-MS imaging results with stigmatic TOF imaging on the same sample is presented. To reduce the extended measuring times involved, it is recommended to restrict the FTICR-MS analyses to areas of interest as can be preselected by other, faster imaging methods.

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