Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry

Elemental Bioimaging by Means of Fast Scanning Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry.

PMID 25947196


One of the most common setups for elemental bioimaging, the hyphenation of a laser ablation (LA) system and an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS), was expanded by adding full scan mass spectrometric information as another dimension of information. While most studies deal with the analysis of typically not more than up to 10 isotopes per scan cycle, a fast scanning quadrupole mass analyzer was utilized to record the full mass spectrum of interest in this work. Mass-to-charge ratios from 6 to 250 were observed within one cycle. Besides the x- and y-position on the ablated sample and the intensity, the m/z-ratio served as fourth variable for each pixel of the obtained data, closing thereby the gap between "inorganic" and "organic" mass spectrometric imaging techniques. The benefits of this approach include an improved control of interferences, the discovery of unexpected elemental distributions, the possibility to plot isotopic ratios, and to integrate the intensities of a certain number of mass channels recorded for each isotope, thus virtually increasing sensitivity. The respective data are presented for dried droplets as well as embedded animal and human tissue slices. Limits of detection were calculated and found to be in accordance with counting statistics. A dedicated software macro was developed for data manipulation prior to common evaluation and image creation.