Issue 7, 2019

SIMS imaging in neurobiology and cell biology


Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) has been increasingly recognized as a powerful technique for visualizing molecular architectures in the fields of neurobiology and cell biology. There are two main platforms of SIMS, namely ToF-SIMS and nanoscale SIMS (nanoSIMS), which are capable of imaging different types of biomolecules with resolution at the single cell and organelle level, respectively. In this review, we focus on the fundamental aspects of SIMS, as well as on the current ongoing instrumental developments of this technology. Selective applications of SIMS in neurobiological and cell biological research are provided to demonstrate its strengths, limitations, and future potential in the field. We add several examples of correlative imaging techniques that combine SIMS with other technologies, while highlighting the current trend for comprehensive and specific bio-imaging.

Graphical abstract: SIMS imaging in neurobiology and cell biology

Article information

Article type
Tutorial Review
01 Apr 2019
08 May 2019
First published
09 May 2019
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2019,34, 1355-1368

SIMS imaging in neurobiology and cell biology

P. Agüi-Gonzalez, S. Jähne and N. T. N. Phan, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2019, 34, 1355 DOI: 10.1039/C9JA00118B

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