This article is a concise review of the application of secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) to the imaging of biological cells. The paper covers the various advantages and disadvantages of different approaches to SIMS analysis with respect to the information that can be gained from the interrogation of the cells. Current successes, pitfalls and future potential for SIMS in cell imaging are discussed. Developments in instrumentation that create a synergy between the traditionally separate fields of static and dynamicSIMS with particular benefits for cellular imaging by mass spectrometry are also described. Additionally, sample preparation and handling, and data manipulation and visualisation in SIMS are discussed.
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