Applications of ESI and MALDI-MS Imaging


Recent advances in matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) have led to the direct analysis of tissue slices. The major advantage of MSI is its capability of simultaneously localizing and identifying a parent molecule and its metabolites without any labeling or any prior knowledge. MSI has been extensively employed to detect the differentiated pattern of lipids in various organs in different diseases, such as brains in Alzheimer’s disease. Poor reproducibility of MALDI MSI analysis due to the heterogeneity of the matrix-analyte crystals hinders its use on quantitative analysis. In addition, discontinuous ion flow due to quickly consumption of the samples under laser irradiation on specific site affects its ability in qualitative analysis. Although electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) cannot directly be used for imaging, ESI tandem mass spectrometry (LC/ESI-MS/MS) can separate and distinguish gangliosides.

The article “Combination of ESI and MALDI-MS Imaging Enhances Analysis on Brain Gangliosides” further details the in-depth analysis of Brain Gangliosides.

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