Tuesday, May 8, 2018
MassImager -- software that is more impressive than the fact no one has used this name already!
I've had kind of an obsession with mass spec imaging despite the fact that I've never done it. The concept is just so cool. A microscope AND a mass spec working together? What? However, with what appears to have been the complete commercial failure of the MALDI-Orbitrap -- it's been hard to be super enthusiastic about the field for a while. It has some technical hurdles to overcome, for sure.
One being that outside of some TOFs there aren't full imaging solutions. There are great little companies that make imaging sources using all sorts of acronyms. I don't know how to spell any of them but there are some amazing super powers out there to get ions from a microscope slide into your instrument. What there hasn't been (that I've seen) is great open software to bring all these boutique ionization sources and mass spec platforms together.
If you are also impressed by pictures from this field -- this paper is worth flipping through just for the images. What it appears to be, though, is a really powerful imaging mass spec software that can be universally applied to different instruments and configurations.
What it represents to me is imaging mass spec getting another step closer to re-emerging and maybe realizing the potential that it might really have.