Automatic z-Axis Correction for IR-MALDESI Mass Spectrometry Imaging of Uneven Surfaces
Xi, Y., Knizner, K. T. T., Garrard, K. P. P., & Muddiman, D. C. C. (2023, June 12). JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MASS SPECTROMETRY.
Two-dimensional mass spectrometry imaging (2D MSI) experiments mainly involve samples with a flat surface and constant thickness, but some samples are challenging to section due to the texture and topography. Herein, we present an MSI method that automatically corrects for discernible height differences across surfaces during imaging experiments. A chromatic confocal sensor was incorporated into the infrared matrix-assisted laser desorption electrospray ionization (IR-MALDESI) system to measure the sample surface height at the location of each analytical scan. The height profile is subsequently used for adjusting the z-axis position of the sample during MSI data acquisition. We evaluated this method using a tilted mouse liver section and an unsectioned Prilosec tablet due to their exterior quasi-homogeneity and height differences of approximately ∼250 μm. MSI with automatic z-axis correction showed consistent ablated spot sizes and shapes, revealing the measured ion spatial distribution across a mouse liver section and a Prilosec tablet. Conversely, irregular spots and reduced signals with large variability were observed when no z-axis correction was applied.