Mirion—A Software Package for Automatic Processing of Mass Spectrometric Images

  • C. Paschke
  • A. Leisner
  • A. Hester
  • K. Maass
  • S. Guenther
  • W. Bouschen
  • B. Spengler
Research Article


Mass spectrometric imaging (MSI) techniques are of growing interest for the Life Sciences. In recent years, the development of new instruments employing ion sources that are tailored for spatial scanning allowed the acquisition of large data sets. A subsequent data processing, however, is still a bottleneck in the analytical process, as a manual data interpretation is impossible within a reasonable time frame. The transformation of mass spectrometric data into spatial distribution images of detected compounds turned out to be the most appropriate method to visualize the results of such scans, as humans are able to interpret images faster and easier than plain numbers. Image generation, thus, is a time-consuming and complex yet very efficient task. The free software package “Mirion,” presented in this paper, allows the handling and analysis of data sets acquired by mass spectrometry imaging. Mirion can be used for image processing of MSI data obtained from many different sources, as it uses the HUPO-PSI-based standard data format imzML, which is implemented in the proprietary software of most of the mass spectrometer companies. Different graphical representations of the recorded data are available. Furthermore, automatic calculation and overlay of mass spectrometric images promotes direct comparison of different analytes for data evaluation. The program also includes tools for image processing and image analysis.

Key words

Mass spectrometry imaging Software Image processing Data evaluation MALDI imaging ImzML 



Financial support by the State of Hesse (LOEWE research focus AmbiProbe), by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (NGFN project 0313442), by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Sp314/12-1, Sp314/13-1), by the European Union (STREP project LSHG-CT-2005-518194), and by Thermo Fisher Scientific (Bremen) GmbH are gratefully acknowledged.

This publication represents a component of the doctoral (Dr. rer. nat.) thesis of C.P. at the Faculty of Biology and Chemistry, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany.

Supplementary material

13361_2013_667_MOESM1_ESM.doc (426 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 426 kb)


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Copyright information

© American Society for Mass Spectrometry 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Paschke
    • 1
  • A. Leisner
    • 1
  • A. Hester
    • 1
  • K. Maass
    • 1
  • S. Guenther
    • 1
  • W. Bouschen
    • 1
  • B. Spengler
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Inorganic and Analytical ChemistryJustus Liebig University GiessenGiessenGermany

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