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Shotgun Approach for Quantitative Imaging of Phospholipids Using Nanospray Desorption Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry

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journal contribution
posted on 04.02.2014, 00:00 by Ingela Lanekoff, Mathew Thomas, Julia Laskin
Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) has been extensively used for determining spatial distributions of molecules in biological samples, and there is increasing interest in using MSI for quantification. Nanospray desorption electrospray ionization (nano-DESI) is an ambient MSI technique where a solvent is used for localized extraction of molecules followed by nanoelectrospray ionization. Doping the nano-DESI solvent with carefully selected standards enables online quantification during MSI experiments. In this proof-of-principle study, we demonstrate that this quantification approach can be extended to provide shotgun-like quantification of phospholipids in thin brain tissue sections. Specifically, two phosphatidylcholine (PC) standards were added to the nano-DESI solvent for simultaneous imaging and quantification of 22 endogenous PC species observed in nano-DESI MSI. Furthermore, by combining the quantitative data obtained in the individual pixels, we demonstrate quantification of these PC species in seven different regions of a rat brain tissue section.