Hans-Rudolf Aerni, Dale S. Cornett, and Richard M. Caprioli
Anal. Chem. 2006, 78 (3), pp 827 – 834

Novel high-throughput sample preparation strategies for MALDI imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) and profiling are presented. An acoustic reagent multispotter was developed to provide improved reproducibility for depositing matrix onto a sample surface, for example, such as a tissue section. The unique design of the acoustic droplet ejector and its optimization for depositing matrix solution are discussed. Since it does not contain a capillary or nozzle for fluid ejection, issues with clogging of these orifices are avoided. Automated matrix deposition provides better control of conditions affecting protein extraction and matrix crystallization with the ability to deposit matrix accurately onto small surface features. For tissue sections, matrix spots of 180-200 um in diameter were obtained and a procedure is described for generating coordinate files readable by a mass spectrometer to permit automated profile acquisition. Mass spectral quality and reproducibility was found to be better than that obtained with manual pipet spotting. The instrument can also deposit matrix spots in a dense array pattern so that, after analysis in a mass spectrometer, two-dimensional ion images may be constructed. Example ion images from a mouse brain are presented.




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