Improved spatial resolution in the imaging of biological tissue using desorption electrospray ionization
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Desorption electrospray ionization imaging allows biomarker discovery and disease diagnosis through chemical characterization of biological samples in their native environment. Optimization of experimental parameters including emitter capillary size, solvent composition, solvent flow rate, mass spectrometry scan-rate and step-size is shown here to improve the resolution available in the study of biological tissue from 180 μm to about 35 μm using an unmodified commercial mass spectrometer. Mouse brain tissue was used to optimize and measure resolution based on known morphological features and their known relationships to major phospholipid components. Features of approximately 35 μm were resolved and correlations drawn between features in grey matter (principally PS (18:0/22:6), m/z 834) and in white matter (principally ST (24:1), m/z 888). The improved spatial resolution allowed characterization of the temporal changes in lipid profiles occurring within mouse ovaries during the ovulatory cycle. An increase in the production of phosphatidylinositol (PI 38:4) m/z 885 and associated fatty acids such as arachidonic acid (FA 20:4) m/z 303 and adrenic acid (FA 22:4) m/z 331was seen with the postovulatory formation of the corpus luteum.
KeywordsAmbient ionization Tissue imaging Electrospray ionization Imaging mass spectrometry High-resolution imaging Morphologically friendly solvents Histology Ovulation Corpus luteum
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