Integrating Histology and Imaging Mass Spectrometry

Pierre Chaurand, Sarah A. Schwartz, David D Billheimer, Baogang J. Xu, Anna Crecelius, Richard M. Caprioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

263 Scopus citations


MALDI (matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization) imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) is a new technology that generates molecular profiles and two-dimensional ion density maps of peptide and protein signals directly from the surface of thin tissue sections. This allows specific information to be obtained on the relative abundance and spatial distribution of proteins. One important aspect of this is the opportunity to correlate these specific ion images with histological features observed by optical microscopy. To facilitate this, we have developed protocols that allow MALDI mass spectrometry imaging and optical microscopy to be performed on the same section. Key components of these protocols involve the use of conductive glass slides as sample support for the tissue sections and MS-friendly tissue staining protocols. We show the effectiveness of these with protein standards and with several types of tissue sections. Although stain-specific intensity variations occur, the overall protein pattern and spectrum quality remain consistent between stained and control tissue samples. Furthermore, imaging mass spectrometry experiments performed on stained sections showed good image quality with minimal delocalization of proteins resulting from the staining protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1145-1155
Number of pages11
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2004
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry

Cite this

Chaurand, P., Schwartz, S. A., Billheimer, D. D., Xu, B. J., Crecelius, A., & Caprioli, R. M. (2004). Integrating Histology and Imaging Mass Spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry, 76(4), 1145-1155.