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Imaging mass spectrometry adds a spatial dimension to mass spectrometric analyses, combining information about analyte localization with the exceptionally detailed chemical characterizations that only mass spectrometry can provide. With this approach, tissue samples (including biopsies), fingerprints and even whole organisms can be probed for chemical composition with a spatial resolution in the low micron range. Imaging mass spectrometry is a core priority for CRMS and our Associate Director Dr. Ifa has brought a new imaging technology to the faculty in the form of Desorption ElectroSpray Ionization (DESI). He has already initiated collaborative projects with numerous faculty members both within and outside of CRMS.

Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) refers to procedures in which both chemical information and spatial information are acquired for later processing and visualization as chemical images. The experiment can be used to record 2D or 3D images. MSI has emerged as a promising technique in many areas, including the biomedical sciences, material sciences and forensics, owing to its high chemical specificity and relative ease of application.