, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 1-5
Date: 26 Mar 2010

Developments and applications of mass microscopy

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We have developed a mass microscopy technique, i.e., a microscope combined with high-resolution matrixassisted laser desorption/ionization-imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS), which is a powerful tool for investigating the spatial distribution of biomolecules without any time-consuming extraction, purification, and separation procedures for biological tissue sections. Mass microscopy provides clear images about the distribution of hundreds of biomolecules in a single measurement and also helps in understanding the cellular profile of the biological system. The sample preparation and the spatial resolution and speed of the technique are all important steps that affect the identification of biomolecules in mass microscopy. In this Award Lecture Review, we focus on some of the recent developments in clinical applications to show how mass microscopy can be employed to assess medical molecular morphology.

Dr. Mitsutoshi Setou, of the Department of Molecular Anatomy, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, is the winner of the Japanese Society for Clinical Molecular Morphology Award for Promoting Young Researchers in 2009. Dr. Setou is recognized for his great contribution in the development of mass microscopy and its application in the field of medical molecular morphology.