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Mass spectrometry

Centre for Mass Spectrometry Imaging (CMSI)

Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) describes a group of label-free imaging techniques that can be used to study the distribution of a range of compounds in biological tissues and other sample types.

The Centre for Mass Spectrometry Imaging (CMSI) is dedicated to the advancement of these techniques and their application to problems in biological, pharmaceutical and environmental analysis.

Currently the Centre is equipped for matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI), liquid extraction surface analysis mass spectrometry imaging (LESA-MSI), desorption electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry imaging instrumentation (DESI-MSI) and laser ablation inductively couple plasma mass spectrometry imaging (LA-ICP-MS).

The Director of the Centre is Professor Malcolm Clench working with Prof Simona Francese, Dr Tom Bassindale, Professor Neil BricklebankDr Catherine Duckett, Dr David SmithDr Neil Cross and Dr Laura Cole.

We have expertise in the study of a wide range of molecules using MSI including

  • cellular metabolites
  • lipids
  • pharmaceutical compounds
  • drugs of abuse
  • peptides and proteins
  • agrochemicals in food crops

We have used this technique successfully in a number of projects including

  • forensic analysis of fingermarks and suspect identification
  • biomarker discovery of tumorigenesis
  • biological response to honeybee venom
  • xenobiotics skin absorption and drug mapping
  • distribution of anti-cancer drugs in tumours
  • changes in protein and lipid expression when skin is exposed to sensitising chemicals
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