MALDI Imaging: Taking Biomedical Research to the Next Level of Molecular Microscopy

C. Tressler
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine,
United States

Keywords: imaging, microscopy, Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization

Summary:

Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) is the most common method of ionization used for imaging mass spectrometry. To date, this molecular tissue imaging technology has primarily been in the hands of highly specialized experts. Our goal is to bring this technology to the broader biomedical and medical research community to allow a wide range of scientists and physicians to utilize this tool in their own research studies. We aim to incorporate MALDI imaging into larger research programs as a powerful method to obtain both targeted and untargeted spatial-molecular information. Herein, I will present current projects in our research program, utilizing this technology in a number of different fields. After a brief overview of the technology, I will discuss projects covering several fields including neuroscience, drug delivery, cancer metabolism, and tissue engineering with a focus on how MALDI imaging can be utilized within these areas. These projects feature a range of molecular classes imaged including small molecules, lipids, and tryptic peptides, as well as different sample preparations, which are tailored and optimized for each project. Furthermore, I will discuss the different routes of data analysis, which allow us to use this powerful technology to the fullest extent in this new age of molecular microscopy.