3D MALDI Imaging

The development of new drugs (pharma industry) as well as the search for determining biomarkers for specific diseases (medical diagnosis) rely on a detailed knowledge of the metabolism/proteom of the organism under investigation. Tomographic methodologies (CT, MR, PET, SPECT, PET-MR) rely on specific tracer substances for retrieving at best a partial information of the metabolism.

In contrast, the full metabolic information is contained in the mass-spectrum obtained by mass spectroscopy (MS) experiments. However, the classical MS spectrum obtained from a single tissue sample allows no spatial discrimination. Our proposed proof of concept goes beyond these limits and aims at developing a 3D MALDI MS technology. If successful, our newly developed algorithms will turn the classical 1D-mass spectroscopy (MS) into a 3D-imaging modality.

The recently developed 2D MALDI (matrix assisted laser deisotoping)-MS imaging allows to collect up to more than 104 spectra from a single tissue sample. Our approach is extended: We use the 2D-MALDI data sample for several slices of an object.

We have the following aims: