The imaging capabilities of time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) and MALDI-MS sample preparation methods were combined. We used this method, named matrix-enhanced (ME) SIMS, for direct molecular imaging of nervous tissue at micrometer spatial resolution. Cryosections of the cerebral ganglia of the freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis were placed on indium-tin-oxide (ITO)-coated conductive glass slides and covered with a thin layer of 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid by electrospray deposition. High-resolution molecular ion maps of cholesterol and the neuropeptide APGWamide were constructed. APGWamide was predominantly localized in the cluster of neurons that regulate male copulation behavior of Lymnaea. ME-SIMS imaging allows direct molecule-specific imaging from tissue sections without labeling and opens a complementary mass window (<2500 Da) to MALDI imaging mass spectrometry at an order of magnitude higher spatial resolution (<3mm).
Anal. Chem.

Altelaar, A.F.M, van Minnen, J, Jiménez, C.R, Heeren, R.M.A, & Piersma, S.R. (2005). Direct molecular imaging of Lymnaea stagnalis nervous tissue at subcellular spatial resolution by mass spectrometry. Anal. Chem., 77, 735–741. doi:10.1021/ac048329g