Resolving the Complexity of Spatial Lipidomics Using MALDI TIMS Imaging Mass Spectrometry

Katerina V. Djambazova, Dustin R. Klein, Lukasz G. Migas, Elizabeth K. Neumann, Emilio S. Rivera, Raf Van De Plas, Richard M. Caprioli, Jeffrey M. Spraggins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Lipids are a structurally diverse class of molecules with important biological functions including cellular signaling and energy storage. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) allows for direct mapping of biomolecules in tissues. Fully characterizing the structural diversity of lipids remains a challenge due to the presence of isobaric and isomeric species, which greatly complicates data interpretation when only m/z information is available. Integrating ion mobility separations aids in deconvoluting these complex mixtures and addressing the challenges of lipid IMS. Here, we demonstrate that a MALDI quadrupole time-of-flight (Q-TOF) mass spectrometer with trapped ion mobility spectrometry (TIMS) enables a >250% increase in the peak capacity during IMS experiments. MALDI TIMS-MS separation of lipid isomer standards, including sn backbone isomers, acyl chain isomers, and double-bond position and stereoisomers, is demonstrated. As a proof of concept, in situ separation and imaging of lipid isomers with distinct spatial distributions were performed using tissue sections from a whole-body mouse pup.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13290-13297
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Resolving the Complexity of Spatial Lipidomics Using MALDI TIMS Imaging Mass Spectrometry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this