Mass Spectrometry Imaging of Lipids

Publication Name

Mass Spectrometry for Lipidomics: Methods and Applications


Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is a label-free imaging technique capable of simultaneously imaging hundreds of molecular species and is widely applied to imaging lipids throughout various biological systems such as tissues and increasingly, single cells. Given the rapidly growing popularity of lipid MSI, this book chapter aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the field for both new and experienced researchers alike. The chapter begins by outlining critical sample preparation requirements for imaging lipids using MSI before describing the common desorption/ionization techniques for MSI, including their spatial resolution and ability to detect various lipid species. The capabilities of each desorption/ionization approach are exemplified by highlighting selected biological applications of each approach. The benefits of ion mobility and chemical derivatisation strategies are then discussed before outlining strategies for the quantification of lipids with MSI. Finally, we describe the types of lipid ions typically observed during MSI, in-source fragmentation considerations and strategies available for identifying lipids detected in MSI at various levels of molecular specificity, including the resolution of isomeric lipids.Keywords mass spectrometry imaging, MALDI, SIMS, DESI, tissue, cells

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