Single Cell Analysis by High-Resolution Atmospheric-Pressure MALDI MS Imaging

Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2064)


Complementary to other imaging techniques, MALDI MS imaging provides label-free analysis and chemical specificity, covering a wide range of molecules that can be visualized simultaneously. Here, we highlight a protocol to visualize lipids from single cardiac cells using high-resolution atmospheric-pressure matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization coupled to an orbital trapping mass analyzer.

Key words

High-resolution atmospheric-pressure mass spectrometry imaging Cardiac cells Single cell imaging 



Financial support by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) under grant Sp314/13-1. M.F. and G.C. are financially supported by funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement number 675132 (MSCA-ITN-ETN MASSTRPLAN). Financial support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the e:Med research and funding concept for SysMedOS project (to MF) is gratefully acknowledged.

Competing financial interests: B.S. is a consultant to TransMIT GmbH Giessen. D.B. is a part-time employee of TransMIT GmbH.


  1. 1.
    Spengler B (2015) Mass spectrometry imaging of biomolecular information. Anal Chem 87(1):64–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kompauer M, Heiles S, Spengler B (2016) Atmospheric pressure MALDI mass spectrometry imaging of tissues and cells at 1.4-μm lateral resolution. Nat Methods 14:90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Zavalin A, Yang J, Hayden K, Vestal M, Caprioli RM (2015) Tissue protein imaging at 1 μm laser spot diameter for high spatial resolution and high imaging speed using transmission geometry MALDI TOF MS. Anal Bioanal Chem 407(8):2337–2342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Römpp A, Spengler B (2013) Mass spectrometry imaging with high resolution in mass and space. Histochem Cell Biol 139(6):759–783CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bhandari DR, Schott M, Römpp A, Vilcinskas A, Spengler B (2015) Metabolite localization by atmospheric pressure high-resolution scanning microprobe matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging in whole-body sections and individual organs of the rove beetle Paederus riparius. Anal Bioanal Chem 407(8):2189–2201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Svatoš A (2011) Single-cell metabolomics comes of age: new developments in mass spectrometry profiling and imaging. Anal Chem 83(13):5037–5044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wishart DS, Jewison T, Guo AC, Wilson M, Knox C, Liu Y, Djoumbou Y, Mandal R, Aziat F, Dong E, Bouatra S, Sinelnikov I, Arndt D, Xia J, Liu P, Yallou F, Bjorndahl T, Perez-Pineiro R, Eisner R, Allen F, Neveu V, Greiner R, Scalbert A (2013) HMDB 3.0—The Human Metabolome Database in 2013. Nucleic Acids Res 41(D1):D801–D807CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fahy E, Sud M, Cotter D, Subramaniam S (2007) LIPID MAPS online tools for lipid research. Nucleic Acids Res 35(suppl_2):W606–W612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Smith CA, O’Maille G, Want EJ, Qin C, Trauger SA, Brandon TR, Custodio DE, Abagyan R, Siuzdak G (2005) METLIN: a metabolite mass spectral database. Ther Drug Monit 27(6):747–751CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Husen P, Tarasov K, Katafiasz M, Sokol E, Vogt J, Baumgart J, Nitsch R, Ekroos K, Ejsing CS (2013) Analysis of lipid experiments (ALEX): a software framework for analysis of high-resolution shotgun lipidomics data. PLoS One 8(11):e79736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Paschke C, Leisner A, Hester A, Maass K, Guenther S, Bouschen W, Spengler B (2013) Mirion—a software package for automatic processing of mass spectrometric images. J Am Soc Mass Spectrom 24(8):1296–1306CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Inorganic and Analytical ChemistryJustus Liebig University GiessenGiessenGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Chemistry and Mineralogy, Institute of Bioanalytical ChemistryUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  3. 3.Center for Biotechnology and BiomedicineUniversität LeipzigLeipzigGermany

Personalised recommendations