Tissue Microarrays for High Throughput Mass Spectrometry Imaging and Classification of Human Disease Tissue - A Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma Example
Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) has made great strides in the realm of clinical research due to its ability to simultaneously provide information about hundreds to thousands of molecules without the need for target specific reagents. MSI also preserves the spatial information of those molecules. In the analysis of clinical samples there is a need to analyze more samples in less time with a high degree of reproducibility. This high throughput processing can often be challenging when analyzing a large cohort of samples by mass spectrometry imaging due to the physical limit to the space available for slides on a single target. Typically no more than 10-15 tissues can be analyzed in a single experiment. With throughput limitations, the analysis of clinical cohorts (often hundreds of samples) can extend over weeks to months introducing the possibility for sample preparation or instrumentation variability.
Tissue microarrays (TMAs) have been invaluable resources in the world of clinical pathology. TMAs are a collection of small cores (typically 1 mm or less) that are harvested from clinical biopsies and collected into a single paraffin block that can be sectioned and analyzed all at once.