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Techniques & Tools Mass Spectrometry

Image of the Month

Taking the Rough with the Smooth

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology have developed a new mass spectrometry imaging technique for reliable chemical analysis of rippled, hairy, bulgy or coarse surfaces. Laser ablation electrospray ionization (LAESI) uses a mid-infrared laser to generate vapor from the sample, which is then ionized by the electrospray source and analyzed in the mass spec. Here, their custom-built laser source is used to analyze the surface of a savoy cabbage, showing its effectiveness in assessing topographically challenging surfaces – but with its ability to analyze biofluids and metabolites, LAESI also has potential in pharma and biosciences. 

Credit: Benjamin Bartels Reference: B Bartels et al., RSC Adv, 7, 9045-9050 (2017).

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About the Author
Joanna Cummings

A former library manager and storyteller, I have wanted to write for magazines since I was six years old, when I used to make my own out of foolscap paper and sellotape and distribute them to my family. Since getting my MSc in Publishing, I’ve worked as a freelance writer and content creator for both digital and print, writing on subjects such as fashion, food, tourism, photography – and the history of Roman toilets. Now I can be found working on The Analytical Scientist, finding the ‘human angle’ to cutting-edge science stories.

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