Histochemistry and Cell Biology

, Volume 134, Issue 5, pp 423–443 | Cite as

Molecular mass spectrometry imaging in biomedical and life science research

  • Jaroslav Pól
  • Martin Strohalm
  • Vladimír Havlíček
  • Michael Volný


This review describes the current state of mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) in life sciences. A brief overview of mass spectrometry principles is presented followed by a thorough introduction to the MSI workflows, principles and areas of application. Three major desorption-ionization techniques used in MSI, namely, secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI), and desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) are described, and biomedical and life science imaging applications of each ionization technique are reviewed. A separate section is devoted to data handling and current challenges and future perspectives are briefly discussed at the end.


Mass spectrometry Chemical imaging Molecular imaging Biological surfaces DESI MALDI SIMS 



The work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic (LC545, ME10013) and by an Institutional research concept of the Institute of Microbiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (AV0Z50200510) and by Czech Science Foundation (Project P206/10/P018). MV’s research was supported by a Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant within the 7th European Community Framework Program. JP thanks the Academy of Finland for financial support (1122354).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaroslav Pól
    • 1
    • 2
  • Martin Strohalm
    • 1
  • Vladimír Havlíček
    • 1
    • 3
  • Michael Volný
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular Structure CharacterizationInstitute of Microbiology of the Academy of the ASCRPragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.Division of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of SciencePalacký UniversityOlomoucCzech Republic

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