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Multiomics Imaging Using High-Energy Water Gas Cluster Ion Beam Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry [(H2O)n‑GCIB-SIMS] of Frozen-Hydrated Cells and Tissue

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journal contribution
posted on 27.05.2021, 00:17 by Hua Tian, Sadia Sheraz née Rabbani, John C. Vickerman, Nicholas Winograd
Integration of multiomics at the single-cell level allows the unambiguous dissecting of phenotypic heterogeneity at different states such as health, disease, and biomedical response. Imaging mass spectrometry holds the promise of being able to measure multiple types of biomolecules in parallel in the same cell. We have explored the possibility of using water gas cluster ion beam secondary ion mass spectrometry [(H2O)n-GCIB-SIMS] as an analytical tool for multiomics assay. (H2O)n-GCIB has been hailed as an ideal ionization source for biological sampling owing to the enhanced chemical sensitivity and reduced matrix effect. Taking advantage of 1 μm spatial resolution by using a high-energy beam system, we have clearly shown the enhancement of multiple intact biomolecules up to a few hundredfold in single cells. Coupled with the cryogenic sample preparation/measurement, the lipids and metabolites were imaged simultaneously within the cellular region, uncovering the pristine chemistry for integrated omics in the same sample. We have demonstrated that double-charged myelin protein fragments and single-charged multiple lipids and metabolites can be localized in the same cells/tissue with a single acquisition. Our exploration has also been extended to the capability of (H2O)n-GCIB in the generation of multiple charged peptides on protein standards. Frozen hydration combined with (H2O)n-GCIB provides the possibility of universal enhancement for the ionization of multiple bio-molecules, including peptides/proteins which has allowed “omics” to become feasible in the same sample using SIMS.

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