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Journal Article

Ambient Mass Spectrometry Imaging with Picosecond Infrared Laser Ablation Electrospray Ionization (PIR-LAESI)


Miller,  R. J. Dwayne
Department of Physics, University of Toronto, 60 St George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A7, Canada;
Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto, 80 St George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H6, Canada;
Miller Group, Atomically Resolved Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

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Zou, J., Talbot, F., Tata, A., Ermini, L., Franjic, K., Ventura, M., et al. (2015). Ambient Mass Spectrometry Imaging with Picosecond Infrared Laser Ablation Electrospray Ionization (PIR-LAESI). Analytical Chemistry, 87(24), 12071-12079. doi:10.1021/acs.analchem.5b02756.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-267F-6
A picosecond infrared laser (PIRL) is capable of cutting through biological tissues in the absence of significant thermal damage. As such, PIRL is a standalone surgical scalpel with the added bonus of minimal postoperative scar tissue formation. In this work, a tandem of PIRL ablation with electrospray ionization (PIR-LAESI) mass spectrometry is demonstrated and characterized for tissue molecular imaging, with a limit of detection in the range of 100 nM for reserpine or better than 5 nM for verapamil in aqueous solution. We characterized PIRL crater size using agar films containing Rhodamine. PIR-LAESI offers a 20–30 μm vertical resolution (∼3 μm removal per pulse) and a lateral resolution of ∼100 μm. We were able to detect 25 fmol of Rhodamine in agar ablation experiments. PIR-LAESI was used to map the distribution of endogenous methoxykaempferol glucoronide in zebra plant (Aphelandra squarrosa) leaves producing a localization map that is corroborated by the literature. PIR-LAESI was further used to image the distribution inside mouse kidneys of gadoteridol, an exogenous magnetic resonance contrast agent intravenously injected. Parallel mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) using desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) were performed to corroborate PIR-LAESI images of the exogenous agent. We further show that PIR-LAESI is capable of desorption ionization of proteins as well as phospholipids. This comparative study illustrates that PIR-LAESI is an ion source for ambient mass spectrometry applications. As such, a future PIRL scalpel combined with secondary ionization such as ESI and mass spectrometry has the potential to provide molecular feedback to guide PIRL surgery.