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Biochemistry. 2013 Jun 4;52(22):3818-28. doi: 10.1021/bi301519p. Epub 2013 Jan 16.

Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization imaging mass spectrometry: in situ molecular mapping.

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Mass Spectrometry Research Center and Department of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University Medical Center , 465 21st Avenue South, MRB III Suite 9160, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, United States.


Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) is a relatively new imaging modality that allows mapping of a wide range of biomolecules within a thin tissue section. The technology uses a laser beam to directly desorb and ionize molecules from discrete locations on the tissue that are subsequently recorded in a mass spectrometer. IMS is distinguished by the ability to directly measure molecules in situ ranging from small metabolites to proteins, reporting hundreds to thousands of expression patterns from a single imaging experiment. This article reviews recent advances in IMS technology, applications, and experimental strategies that allow it to significantly aid in the discovery and understanding of molecular processes in biological and clinical samples.

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