The profiling of molecules in space and imaging mass spectrometry of tissues can often produce very complex mass spectra that may prove difficult to interpret. This is due to a lack of LC-MS separation and the presence of multiple isobaric or near isobaric species. Increasing the peak capacity in molecular imaging, by combining multidimensional separations at each spatial location is the basis of ion mobility enabled imaging mass spectrometry. Analyte ions are separated on the basis of both their size, shape and charge, or collisional cross section, which can provide rapid separation of isobaric, structurally distinct ions.

SYNAPT XS HDMS enables the powerful combination of MALDI and DESI imaging with ion mobility-mass spectrometry. This allows the gas phase separation of ions by compound class and charge in an MS imaging experiment, providing a level of selectivity that would not be possible with mass resolution alone. In addition, ion mobility allows the isolation of low abundance species, which may otherwise be hidden by more dominant ions due to the complexity of the data.  The result of this is also cleaner imaging data, allowing the more precise visualization of molecular distributions in the presence of background.

There are numerous potential applications for imaging with ion mobility including:

  • Health Sciences 
  • Pharmaceutical – DMPK and Pre clinical toxicology, histopathology 
  • Clinical research and pathology
  • Food industry
  • Cosmetics industry
  • Forensics
  • Chemicals industry – coatings, paints, self-organizing surfaces

Mass Spectrometry Imaging

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Enhanced capabilities for imaging gangliosides in murine brain with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization and desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry coupled to ion mobility separation

Optimised Desorption Electrospray Ionisation Mass Spectrometry Imaging (DESI-MSI) for the Analysis of Proteins/Peptides Directly from Tissue Sections on a Travelling Wave Ion Mobility Q-ToF

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