Improved MALDI-TOF imaging yields increased protein signals at high molecular mass
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Matrix assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectrum images are created from an array of mass spectra collected over a tissue surface. We have increased the mass range of proteins that can be detected in tissue sections from kidneys, heart, lung and brain of different rodent species by a modification of the sandwich technique, which involves co-crystallizing matrix with analyte. A tissue section is placed upon a drop of sinapinic acid matrix dissolved in 90% ethanol and 0.5% Triton X-100. Once the matrix has dried, a seed layer of sinapinic crystals is added as a dispersion in xylene. Additional layers of sinapinic acid are added as solutions in 90% ethanol followed by 50% acetonitrile. Numerous peaks with signal to noise ratio of four or greater are observed between 25 kDa to 50 kDa. This represents ∼10 times as many peaks as are detected using traditional matrix spotting and spraying.
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