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Anal Chem. 2012 May 1;84(9):3945-51. doi: 10.1021/ac300557a. Epub 2012 Apr 16.

Feasibility of depth profiling of animal tissue by ultrashort pulse laser ablation.

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1
Department of Chemistry, m/c 111, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60607-7061, USA.

Abstract

Experiments were performed to examine the feasibility of mass spectrometry (MS) depth profiling of animal tissue by ~75 fs, 800 nm laser pulses to expose underlying layers of tissue for subsequent MS analysis. Matrix assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) was used to analyze phospholipids and proteins from both intact bovine eye lens tissue and tissue ablated by ultrashort laser pulses. Laser desorption postionization mass spectrometry (LDPI-MS) with 10.5 eV single photon ionization was also used to analyze cholesterol and other small molecules in the tissue before and after laser ablation. Scanning electron microscopy was applied to examine the ablation patterns in the tissue and estimate the depth of the ablation craters. Ultrashort pulse laser ablation was found to be able to remove a layer of several tens of micrometers from the surface of eye lens tissue while leaving the underlying tissue relatively undamaged for subsequent MS analysis. MS analysis of cholesterol, phospholipids, peptides, and various unidentified species did not reveal any chemical damage caused by ultrashort pulse laser ablation for analytes smaller than ~6 kDa. However, a drop in intensity of larger protein ions was detected by MALDI-MS following laser ablation. An additional advantage was that ablated tissue displayed up to an order of magnitude higher signal intensities than intact tissue when subsequently analyzed by MS. These results support the use of ultrashort pulse laser ablation in combination with MS analysis to permit depth profiling of animal tissue.

PMID:
22482364
PMCID:
PMC3371643
DOI:
10.1021/ac300557a
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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