Imaging mass spectrometry data reduction: Automated feature identification and extraction
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- McDonnell, L.A., van Remoortere, A., de Velde, N. et al. J Am Soc Mass Spectrom (2010) 21: 1969. doi:10.1016/j.jasms.2010.08.008
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Imaging MS now enables the parallel analysis of hundreds of biomolecules, spanning multiple molecular classes, which allows tissues to be described by their molecular content and distribution. When combined with advanced data analysis routines, tissues can be analyzed and classified based solely on their molecular content. Such molecular histology techniques have been used to distinguish regions with differential molecular signatures that could not be distinguished using established histologic tools. However, its potential to provide an independent, complementary analysis of clinical tissues has been limited by the very large file sizes and large number of discrete variables associated with imaging MS experiments. Here we demonstrate data reduction tools, based on automated feature identification and extraction, for peptide, protein, and lipid imaging MS, using multiple imaging MS technologies, that reduce data loads and the number of variables by >100×, and that highlight highly-localized features that can be missed using standard data analysis strategies. It is then demonstrated how these capabilities enable multivariate analysis on large imaging MS datasets spanning multiple tissues.