December 8, 2011

Imaging Mass Spectrometry

Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocentre (Interactive Map)


We are pleased to announce the next half-day Symposium to be held in the MIB on Thursday December 8. The topic will be Imaging Mass Spectrometry. IMS is a relatively new application of mass spectrometry. In principle its potential is enormous. To be able to exploit all the capabilities of mass spectrometry to characterise the chemistry of materials (organic, biological and inorganic) in 2 and 3 dimensions with good spatial resolution is extremely exciting.

Developments in MALDI, SIMS and DESI suggest that each of these MS variants can make significant contributions to realising the potential of IMS. There are however many challenges to be met before IMS can be applied routinely. We have 5 experts in IMS who will review from their own work where IMS has got to and where they expect it to progress to in the future.

Time Speaker
11.00 Coffee and Registration
11.30 Ron Heeren (Biomolecular Imaging Mass Spectrometry Group, FOM Institute AMOLF, Amsterdam)
Integrative Imaging Mass Spectrometry: science across disciplines
12.30 Lunch and Posters
13.40 Chris Grovenor (High Temperature Superconductor Group, University of Oxford)
Biological and inorganic materials characterisation using NanoSIMS imaging
14.40 Torsten Henkel (Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry Group, University of Manchester)
Probing the Origin of the Solar System with TOF-SIMS
15.00 John Fletcher (Surface Analysis Research Centre, University of Manchester)
Ar–cluster ion beams. Better than buckyballs?
15.20 Benjamin Balluff (Institute of Pathology, Helmholtz Centre Munich)
Prognostic markers identified by MALDI imaging
16.00 Wine Reception


Integrative Imaging Mass Spectrometry: science across disciplines

Ron M.A. Heeren, FOM-AMOLF, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The spatial organization of molecules on cellular and tissue surfaces and its dynamics lies at the heart of many problems in biology and biomedicine. Studies search for direct relationships between molecular structure and function in these complex system to elucidate molecular signaling pathways and cellular communication to improve our fundamental understanding of disease diagnosis and prognosis. It is an area of research in which many science disciplines come together. This has led to the concept of integrative systems biology, in which different information resources are merged to resolve and provide insight in the complexity of biological systems.

Imaging mass spectrometry as a new and rapidly growing discipline within the analytical sciences is taking full advantage of this development. New technologies that improve spatial and spectral resolution are rapidly emerging. Structural identification capabilities emerge that directly benefit from new approaches in mass spectrometry based proteomics and metabolomics. High resolution secondary ion MS, high throughput LC-MALDI-MS, MALDI-MS using different imaging modalities are just a few examples of these developments. Validation and acceptance of imaging MS results generated by these innovative approaches greatly depends on more common molecular imaging technique such as immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy of fluorescently labeled proteins and H&E based histology. This has lead to the concept of multi-modal or integrative imaging MS that combines several molecular imaging results. It is a holistic approach to molecular imaging of complex surfaces.

In this lecture new developments in high resolution imaging MS and accurate mass and time tag proteomics will be described in the context of a study into tumor hypoxia and tumor heterogeneity. The approach discussed will integrate a quantitative proteomics study, several imaging MS approaches and optical microscopic technique to elucidate several molecular signaling pathways specific to certain tumor domains. It will demonstrate how integrative imaging MS has evolved to a problem solving tool that spans several scientific disciplines and provides fundamental insight into complex tumor biology.


Probing the Origins of the Solar System using TOFSIMS

Torsten Henkel, University of Manchester

Comets and asteroids are holding the answers to many questions concerning the origin and formation of the Solar System. Samples from asteroids are readily available in form of meteorites and cometary samples became available through the Stardust sample return mission from comet Wild/2.

Even though meteorites are relatively large their building blocks are often tiny, like micron-sized particles in their matrix. Most of these are condensates from the early Solar System whereas some are stellar dust grains which survived the formation of the Solar System. The cometary samples brought back by the Stardust mission are of similar size and very precious due to the small amounts available.

To analyse these samples comprehensively and efficiently we are using a time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer, which also incorporates laser post-ionization to boost ionization rates, to determine secondary ion distribution maps, depth profiles and elemental abundances.


Ar–cluster ion beams. Better than buckyballs?

John Fletcher, Surface Analysis Research Centre, University of Manchester

ToF-SIMS offers exciting possibilities for biological imaging. Advances in ion beam technology have improved the sensitivity of the technique, produced new analytical possibilities in terms of 3D biological imaging and inspired new innovations in SIMS mass spectrometry.

C60 has become the ion beam of choice for ‘low damage’ analysis of organic and biological samples but the recent introduction of gas cluster ion beams (GCIB’s) adds a new weapon to the SIMS arsenal. But; are argon clusters better than buckyballs for biological analysis?


Prognostic markers identified by MALDI imaging

Benjamin Balluff, Institute of Pathology, Helmholtz Zentrum München (German Research Center for Environmental Health)

Histology-driven matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) imaging mass spectrometry allows measurement of the molecular content of tissues. We used MALDI imaging in pre-clinical research studies for the identification of clinically relevant protein patterns in terms of prognosis and therapy response in gastric cancer patients.  

A seven-protein signature was identified and associated with an unfavorable overall survival. The prognostic significance of three individual proteins were validated immunohistochemically on tissue microarrays. The results highlight the usefulness of MALDI imaging for providing novel and clinical relevant information from tumor tissues, as well as its potential for tissue diagnostics.