Size, weight and position: ion mobility spectrometry and imaging MS combined
Size, weight and position are three of the most important parameters that describe a molecule in a biological system. Ion mobility spectrometry is capable of separating molecules on the basis of their size or shape, whereas imaging mass spectrometry is an effective tool to measure the molecular weight and spatial distribution of molecules. Recent developments in both fields enabled the combination of the two technologies. As a result, ion-mobility-based imaging mass spectrometry is gaining more and more popularity as a (bio-)analytical tool enabling the determination of the size, weight and position of several molecules simultaneously on biological surfaces. This paper reviews the evolution of ion-mobility-based imaging mass spectrometry and provides examples of its application in analytical studies of biological surfaces.