What is Mass Spec Imaging?

Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is a technique that can provide localization information for specific molecules within a biological sample.

MSI is based on chemical information generated by a mass spectrometer, an instrument capable to provide mass information of molecules or fragments thereof. Mass spectrometry imaging has become a critical analytical approach for biological investigation of tissues and living populations, such as cell cultures and colonies. This technique provides new information based on molecule-specific images, without the need for labeling, staining or complex sample preparation protocols.

With MSI, the chemical identity of biomarkers or other biomolecules present, for example in a tissue, is investigated as a function of spatial distribution. This paradigm allows accurate distribution profiling of chemical species that may help to understand pathologies or metabolic processes present in the specimen. MSI has the potential to revolutionize biological investigations by providing objective chemical data which truly elucidates biological processes in samples of interest.
...imaging the future of biology