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Issue 5, 2013
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Lipid imaging by mass spectrometry – a review

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Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) has proven to be extremely useful for applications such as the spatial analysis of peptides and proteins in biological tissue, the performance assessment of drugs in vivo or the measurement of protein or metabolite expression as tissue classifiers or biomarkers from disease versus control tissue comparisons. The most popular MSI technique is MALDI mass spectrometry. First invented by Richard Caprioli in the mid-1990s, it is the highest performing MSI technique in terms of spatial resolution, sensitivity for intact biomolecules and application range today. The unique ability to identify and spatially resolve numerous compounds simultaneously, based on m/z values has inter alia been applied to untargeted and targeted chemical mapping of biological compartments, revealing changes of physiological states, disease pathologies and metabolic faith and distribution of xenobiotics. Many MSI applications focus on lipid species because of the lipids' diverse roles as structural components of cell membranes, their function in the surfactant cycle, and their involvement as second messengers in signalling cascades of tissues and cells. This article gives a comprehensive overview of lipid imaging techniques and applications using established MALDI and SIMS methods but also other promising MSI techniques such as DESI.

Graphical abstract: Lipid imaging by mass spectrometry – a review

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Article information

17 Sep 2012
13 Dec 2012
First published
17 Dec 2012

Analyst, 2013,138, 1289-1315
Article type
Critical Review

Lipid imaging by mass spectrometry – a review

D. Gode and D. A. Volmer, Analyst, 2013, 138, 1289
DOI: 10.1039/C2AN36337B

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