Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS) is a two-dimensional MALDI-MS technique used to analyze and visualize the spatial distribution of biomolecules. Since the technology was introduced, it has quickly spread and developed because of its enormous potential. There are many kinds of lipids and their structures are very complex, so the analysis of lipids is full of difficulties and challenges. MALDI-IMS technology can not only identify lipids in direct biological samples, but also image the spatial distribution of analytes. In recent years, the technology has been widely used in the study of lipidomics. Alfa Chemistry can offer quality MALDI-IMS lipidomics service for analysis thousands of lipids. The results provide a histological map of lipid biomolecules based on mass/charge ratio (m/z) localization and identification, and the imaging data can be normalized to total ion currents to calculate lipid abundance and can also be used for statistical tests.
The complete analytical procedure of MALDI-IMS lipidomics in Alfa Chemistry is described as shown in Fig.1 .
Fig.1 The analytical procedure of MALDI-IMS lipidomics
In MALDI-IMS, sample preparation is a very critical step, which is directly related to the quality of imaging and the type and quantity of detected substances. Sample preparation mainly includes tissue slice preparation, pretreatment, matrix selection and matrix spray selection, etc. Alfa Chemistry has various way to deal with these processes.
Alfa Chemistry has state of-the-art time of flight mass spectrometer (TOF-MS) instrument for MALDI-IMS. The instrument shows high accuracy and resolving power and allow the separation of ionized accelerated molecules according to their mass-to-charge ratio (m/z). In addition, the hybrid analyzers pairing various technologies with TOF are also introduced in our laboratory: a quadrupole mass analyzer and TOF, a quadrupole ion trap and TOF, an ion mobility spectrometer and TOF, and tandem TOF mass spectrometers, to further improve the analytical ability of TOF-MS.