For the first time macromolecular ion microscope images have been recorded using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). Single-shot, mass-resolved images of the spatial distributions of intact peptide and protein ions over an area of 200 mm in diameter were obtained in less than 1 ms at a repetition rate of 12 Hz. The magnifying ion optics of the ion microscope allowed ion images to be obtained with a lateral resolution of 4 mm. These results prove the concept of high-resolution MALDI-MS imaging in microscope mode without the need for a tight laser focus and the accompanying sensitivity losses. The ion microscopy approach offers an improvement of several orders of magnitude in speed of acquisition compared to the conventional (microprobe) approach to MALDI-MS imaging.

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Journal Anal. Chem.
Luxembourg, S.L, Mize, T.H, McDonnell, L.A, & Heeren, R.M.A. (2004). High-spatial resolution mass spectrometric imaging of peptide and protein distributions on a surface. Anal. Chem., 76, 5339–5344. doi:10.1021/ac049692q