Nanostructure Imaging Mass Spectrometry: The Role of Fluorocarbons in Metabolite Analysis and Yoctomole Level Sensitivity

  • Michael E. Kurczy
  • Trent R. Northen
  • Sunia A. Trauger
  • Gary SiuzdakEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1203)


Nanostructure imaging mass spectrometry (NIMS) has become an effective technology for generating ions in the gas phase, providing high sensitivity and imaging capabilities for small molecules, metabolites, drugs, and drug metabolites. Specifically, laser desorption from the nanostructure surfaces results in efficient energy transfer, low background chemical noise, and the nondestructive release of analyte ions into the gas phase. The modification of nanostructured surfaces with fluorous compounds, either covalent or non-covalent, has played an important role in gaining high efficiency/sensitivity by facilitating analyte desorption from the nonadhesive surfaces, and minimizing the amount of laser energy required. In addition, the hydrophobic fluorinated nanostructure surfaces have aided in concentrating deposited samples into fine micrometer-sized spots, a feature that further facilitates efficient desorption/ionization. These fluorous nanostructured surfaces have opened up NIMS to very broad applications including enzyme activity assays and imaging, providing low background, efficient energy transfer, nondestructive analyte ion generation, super-hydrophobic surfaces, and ultra-high detection sensitivity.

Key words

Nanostructure imaging mass spectrometry (NIMS) Desorption/ionization on silicon mass spectrometry (DIOS-MS) Metabolites Mass spectrometry imaging 



This work conducted by ENIGMA-Ecosystems and Networks Integrated with Genes and Molecular Assemblies was supported by the Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, of the US Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. This work was also supported by the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine Grant TR1-01219 and the National Institutes of Health grants R24 EY017540-04, P30 MH062261-10, and P01 DA026146-02. Financial support was also received from the Department of Energy grants FG02-07ER64325 and DE-AC0205CH11231.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael E. Kurczy
    • 1
  • Trent R. Northen
    • 2
  • Sunia A. Trauger
    • 3
  • Gary Siuzdak
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Center for Metabolomics and Mass SpectrometryThe Scripps Research InstituteLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Life Sciences DivisionBerkeley LabBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Center for Systems BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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