MALDI mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI MSI) is a powerful analytical method providing the 2D localization of compounds from thin sections of typically but not exclusively biological samples. The dynamically harmonized ICR cell (ParaCell©) was recently introduced to achieve extreme spectral resolution capable to provide the isotopic fine structure of ions detected in complex samples. The latest improvement in ICR technology also includes 2ω detection which significantly reduces the transient time while preserving the nominal mass resolving power of the ICR cell. High-resolution MS images acquired on FT-ICR instruments equipped with 7T and 9.4T superconducting magnets and the dynamically harmonized ICR cell operating at suboptimal parameters, suffered severely from the pixel-to-pixel shifting of m/z peaks due to space-charge effects. The resulting profile average mass spectra have depreciated mass measurement accuracy and mass resolving power under the instrument specifications that affect the confidence level of the identified ions. Here we propose an analytical workflow based on the monitoring of the Total Ion Current to restrain the pixel-to-pixel m/z shift. Adjustment of the laser parameters is proposed to maintain high spectral resolution and mass accuracy measurement within the instrument specifications during MSI analyses. The optimized method has been successfully employed in replicates to perform high-quality MALDI MS images at resolving power (FWHM) above 1,000,000 in the lipid mass range across the whole image for superconducting magnets of 7T and 9.4T using 1 and 2ω detection. Our data also compare favorably with MALDI MSI experiments performed on higher magnetic field superconducting magnets, including the 21T MALDI FT-ICR prototype instrument of the NHMFL group at Tallahassee, Florida.
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