Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MALDI-MSI) allows direct measurement of mass spectra from tissue. It can directly measure proteins, peptides, lipids, drugs, metabolites and biomarkers.
Sheffield Hallam's Dr Jillian Newton has used this technology to advance research projects with several pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies.
One experiment provides multiple information sets. MALDI-MSI creates chemical distribution images to enable the visualisation of compounds as they penetrate into skin and skin model layers. This technique can also be used to analyse numerous exogenous compounds as well as the determination of endogenous compounds, such as lipids, peptides, proteins, metabolites and other biomarkers.
True un-targeted discovery
Both targeted and untargeted analysis can be performed with the major advantage that no antibodies, probes fluorescent dyes or radiolabels are required. Image overlays provide more detailed information. The overlay of mass spectroscopic images onto optical images provides much more in-depth structural information. Histological staining and MS imaging can be performed on the same tissue sections which provides better information on drug distribution within biological structures.
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