Assessment of Metabolic Signature for Cancer Diagnosis Using Desorption Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometric Imaging

  • Shibdas BanerjeeEmail author
  • Soumen Kanti Manna
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1928)


Metabolic reprogramming is a hallmark of tumor development. A technique that can map this complex biochemical shift by taking a snapshot of various metabolites in a tissue specimen (biopsy) is of high utility in the context of cancer diagnosis. Desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometric imaging (DESI-MSI) is such a powerful and emerging analytical technique to simultaneously visualize the distributions of hundreds of metabolites, lipids, and other small molecules in the biological tissue. In DESI-MSI, a fine spray of high-velocity charged microdroplets rapidly extracts molecular species from the tissue surface and subsequently transfers them to the mass spectrometer, while the sample is continuously moved in two dimensions under the impinging spray of microdroplets. This allows a detailed multiplex molecular mapping of the tissue. DESI-MSI enables simultaneous examination of hundreds of putative metabolic biomarkers, an approach that lends much more predictive power than simply evaluating one or a few candidate biomarkers. The speed, versatility, lack of complicated sample preparation, and operation at ambient conditions make DESI-MSI extremely promising as a rapid diagnostic and prognostic tool.

Key words

DESI-MSI Tissue imaging Cancer margin Metabolites and lipids Histopathology 



Authors are thankful to Prof. Richard N. Zare for his encouragement and advice. S.B. gratefully acknowledges the help from Dr. Livia S. Eberlin, Prof. Robert J. Tibshirani, Prof. James D. Brooks, Dr. Christian A. Kunder, Dr. Rosalie Nolley, Dr. Richard Fan, and Dr. Geoffrey A. Sonn. This work was supported by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Tirupati, and Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata. S.B. is also thankful to Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, for providing Ramanujan Fellowship Research Grant (SB/S2/RJN-130/2017).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Science Education and Research TirupatiTirupatiIndia
  2. 2.Biophysics and Structural Genomics DivisionSaha Institute of Nuclear Physics (HBNI)KolkataIndia

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