JEOL USA has produced a new MALDI imaging technical applications note that describes the unique analytical process for a variety of biological and organic samples. MALDI imaging is a powerful mass spectrometry technique available with JEOL’s MALDI Imaging SpiralTOF. It is used to assess the distribution of proteins, peptides, lipids, drugs, and metabolites in tissue specimens, as well as compound distribution in organic materials. MALDI is an acronym for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry.

JEOL’s MALDI Imaging SpiralTOF Mass Spectrometer offers unique capabilities that include imaging of samples with irregular surfaces.  In a conventional reflectron time-of-flight mass spectrometer, the flight time is influenced by small changes in the target position.  To maintain high mass-resolving power across an entire sample, the sample must be perfectly flat.  However, it is impossible to achieve a perfectly flat surface for real-world samples.  Because small variations in the sample surface are only a tiny fraction of the SpiralTOF’s 17-meter flight path, it is possible to maintain high mass-resolving power for the entire image.  This is critical if you need to know the accurate spatial distribution of a specific compound without interference from background interferences.