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Methods Mol Biol. 2010;656:415-31. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60761-746-4_24.

Tissue preparation for the in situ MALDI MS imaging of proteins, lipids, and small molecules at cellular resolution.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


The resolution of MALDI MS imaging is limited by the displacement of analytes during matrix deposition or by laser focal diameter. Here we present three methods that minimize the displacement of analytes during matrix deposition, including a method where image resolution is not limited by the laser focal diameter. The first method, matrix solution fixation, simultaneously fixes tissue while depositing matrix and is optimal for analyzing proteins and for applications requiring a fast preparation time. This method is characterized by compatibility with histology methods and laser focal diameter-limited resolution. The second method, a sensor controlled aerosol, is characterized by aerosol droplet size-limited resolution and is optimal for small molecules, including lipids, peptides, and drug-like molecules. The third method, microinjection with matrix, selectively deposits matrix upon cells of interest, offers cellular resolution and is compatible with most analytes. A flow chart summarizing methods is provided so that users may design a tissue preparation strategy based upon their resources and experimental goals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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