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Microscope based atmospheric pressure mass spectrometric imaging (AP-MSI) system for live tissue analysis

Microscope based atmospheric pressure mass spectrometric imaging (AP-MSI) system for live tissue analysis
Kim, Jae Young
DGIST Authors
Kim, Jae Young
Issue Date
13th Korean Symposium on Surface Analysis
Atmospheric pressure ionization mass spectrometry (AP-MS) techniques attracted attentions of researchers in various fields such as biology, medicine, environment, and safety but their applications to biological and medical areas are still limited due to the insufficient spatial resolution of several tens and hundreds micrometers [1, 2]. Here, we report a microscope based AP-MSI method with several µm spatial resolution based on gold nanoparticle assisted laser desorption and subsequent non-thermal plasma induced ionization, termed atmospheric pressure nanoparticle and plasma assisted laser desorption ionization (AP-nanoPALDI) MS [3]. Non-thermal helium atmospheric pressure plasma jets (APPJs) and femtosecond or continuous wave lasers are used as ambient sampling/ionization sources. The desorption of molecules from live tissues is found to be greatly enhanced by the strong photothermal effect of gold nanoparticles and focused laser, and the subsequent ionization process with nonthermal atmospheric helium plasma jets enabled production of sufficient amount of molecular ions of important molecules from a live hippocampal tissue, such as monoacylglycerols, cholesterols, ceramides, fragments of sphingolipids and glycerophospholipids. Combined the AP-nanoPALDI with microscopic sample scanning, MS imaging with spatial resolution of 2.9 µm can be obtained with a sampling depth down to several tens of µm. The linear crater generated by AP-nanoPALDI on a hippocampal tissue is exceptionally sharp with the side wall width of around 1 µm and a flat plateau in the bottom. Gold nanorods are uniformly distributed over tissues by cellular uptake of live cells in tissues without any toxic effects and responsible for the high molecular ion intensity and the high spatial resolution. Our AP-nanoPALDI-MS effectively ablates the bulk molecular constituents down to at least several tens of µm while keeping the high spatial resolution which minimizes the sampling problem to represent the whole tissue. AP-nanoPALDI can be applied for live tissue based drug screening, which will provide higher reliability than the cell based drug screening with the less number of sacrificed animals. This study will enable monitoring biological molecules without pretreatment from live tissues and verify the molecular chemical properties, elemental compositions and chemical structures.
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Department of Robotics and Mechatronics EngineeringRobotics Engineering Research Center2. Conference Papers

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