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Toward Clinical and Intraoperative Viability of Fast MS Imaging

Surface Analysis Spotlight: TOF

by Greg Fisher

TOF Scientist

A group of researchers from the Maastricht Multi-Modal Molecular Imaging (M4I) and Amsterdam Scientific Instruments B.V., led by Maastricht University Professor Ron M. A. Heeren, have set a new standard in the quest for rapid mass spectrometry (MS) imaging in the operating room (OR) and for clinical diagnostics e.g., classification and staging of cancer. In short, they have realized full section mapping in ≈ 30 minutes with 900 nm mass microscopy. At the heart of this development (Figure 1) is a microscope mass spectrometer developed circa 1994 by Physical Electronics.

Figure 1: A schematic illustration of the fast MS imaging instrument highlighting the salient features, including (left to right): a fast custom sample stage and trigger software, a triple ion focusing time-of-flight (TRIFT-II) direct ion imaging microscope mass spectrometer equipped with a 2-dimensional dynode array TPX3CAM ion detection system, and data processing system.

High lateral resolution imaging by time-of-flight (TOF) MS is typically achieved using a micro- or nano-focused analytical beam. Notwithstanding the benefits of molecular specificity, and including the incremental improvements in duty cycle and microprobe source brightness, the throughput of microprobe mode TOF-MS imaging has not met the time and sample cohort requirements of clinical specialists and intraoperative surgeons. Professor Heeren and coworkers have bypassed certain limitations of the microprobe mode with their developments in high-throughput, quasi-continuous mass microscopy. With further refinements to come, clinical and operating room use of MS imaging via mass microscopy is a fait accompli.

For further details, please see the full article: Anal. Chem. 94 (2022) 14652–14658

Join us at AVS 68 to learn more from Principal Scientist Greg Fisher who is giving a talk on Thursday, Nov. 10, 11:40 AM, " Understanding Surface Bonding and Molecular Structure with MS/MS Imaging: From Click-Chemistry to Biogenesis".

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© 2022 Physical Electronics, Inc. (PHI) All Rights Reserved.