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Microprobe MS Imaging of Live Tissues, Cells, and Bacterial Colonies Using LAESI

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Abstract

Laser ablation electrospray ionization (LAESI) is an ambient ionization technique for mass spectrometry that is capable of performing direct spatial imaging on biological specimens with minimal-to-no sample preparation, ensuring experimental conditions that can maintain viability. Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) by LAESI has accomplished utility in mapping the spatial distribution of small molecules including metabolites and lipids in a wide variety of biological samples under ambient conditions, ranging from sectioned animal and live plant tissues to living microbial colonies and small cohorts of cells. In this chapter, we provide a brief introduction to LAESI and offer practical guidance on performing MSI using this technique. The focus here is to discuss the main steps of custom-building a LAESI setup, to perform multidimensional imaging of tissues and cells, and to demonstrate the utility of LAESI MSI under native or native-like conditions. As recent commercialization has extended this new analytical resource to a broader user base, we anticipate two- and three-dimensional MSI by LAESI to benefit basic and applied research.

Keywords

  • Mass spectrometry imaging
  • Electrospray ionization
  • LAESI
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Metabolites
  • Lipids
  • Peptides
  • Proteins
  • Atmospheric pressure
  • Ambient
  • Two-dimensional
  • Three-dimensional
  • Depth profiling
  • Single-cell analysis
  • Tissue imaging
  • Bacteria
  • Mid-IR laser
  • Laser ablation
  • O–H vibrations
  • Resonant water excitation
  • In vivo imaging

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Er:YAG lasers are widely used to produce this type of laser beam, e.g., in IR-MALDI MS applications.

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Correspondence to Peter Nemes .

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Shrestha, B., Walsh, C.M., Boyce, G.R., Nemes, P. (2016). Microprobe MS Imaging of Live Tissues, Cells, and Bacterial Colonies Using LAESI. In: Cramer, R. (eds) Advances in MALDI and Laser-Induced Soft Ionization Mass Spectrometry. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-04819-2_8

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