These are preliminary reports that have not been peer-reviewed. They should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or be reported in news media as established information. For more information, please see our FAQs.
2 files

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

revised on 17.08.2020, 15:14 and posted on 18.08.2020, 04:50 by Katerina Djambazova, Dustin R. Klein, Lukasz Migas, Elizabeth Neumann, Emilio Rivera, Raf Van de Plas, Richard M. Caprioli, Jeffrey Spraggins

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 map-ping of biomolecules in tissue. 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 approximately a ~270% increase in the peak capacity during IMS experiments. MALDI TIMS-MS separation of lipid isomer standards, including sn-backbone isomers, acyl chain isomers, as well as double bond positional and geometric isomers are demonstrated. As a proof-of-concept, in situ separation and imaging of lipid isomers with distinct spatial distributions was performed using tissue sections from a whole-body mouse pup.


MRI: Development of a next-generation MALDI ion mobility mass spectrometry platform for molecular imaging and training

Directorate for Engineering

Find out more...

Imaging Mass Spectrometry Research Resource at Vanderbilt University

National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Find out more...

15 Tesla Bruker SolariX FT-ICR mass spectrometer

Office of the Director

Find out more...

Training Program in Environmental Toxicology

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Find out more...


Email Address of Submitting Author


Vanderbilt University



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Version Notes

Version 2.