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Fields & Applications Clinical, Mass Spectrometry, Liquid Chromatography

The Road to Mass Spec Imaging in Clinical Research

At a Glance

  • Mass spectrometry imaging could be valuable in the clinic – if existing concerns can be addressed
  • MSI allows measurement of small-sized samples and good specimen preservation for additional studies
  • It can also be combined with other techniques, such as digital PCR, to make best use of limited biopsy tissue
  • Although MSI shows promise for clinical use, standardization efforts are needed, because results remain variable

Until relatively recently, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) was restricted to basic science – and it has yet to be widely accepted for clinical research analysis. For MSI to migrate from a research platform to a universally accepted tool, it requires a standardized procedure for everyone using the technique and concerns regarding reproducibility must be addressed. Pathology laboratories increasingly rely on molecular testing that uses genomic technology; emerging molecular technologies, such as MSI, that provide dynamic, untargeted information about the cell’s active state are likely to follow suit in the coming years.

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About the Author

Alice Ly

Applications Development at Bruker Daltonics, Bremen, Germany.

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