Saturday, July 28, 2018

AP-MALDI animal brain imaging on a Q Exactive!

Okay -- not proteomics -- but I've got a SERIOUS weakness for imaging mass spectrometry. I've never got to do it myself, but -- holy crud -- it is soooo cool.  When the MALDI-Orbitrap was basically retired (due to the fact only 10 of them or something were ever bought {p.s. I swear there are more of them in Baltimore than any other city in the world -- see? there's more than fentanyl overdoses here!}) it was just a little soul crushing. (Which -- sounds weird after the fentanyl thing I just added...)

However -- there is this weird little company in Columbia, MD that makes MALDI sources that you can put on anything -- including Fusions and Q Exactives.  This has always sounded like a good idea to me, but considering I also don't know anything about MALDI, take this statement with a plate of salt

(Explosm, FTW! No, I do not recommend you ever visit that site -- particularly during "depressing comic week")

What was I rambling about now? Oh yeah!! This new paper!!

This great team here in Baltimore finally gets one of these AP-MALDI things -- and it totally kicks ass. They couple it to a Q Exactive and Orbitrap Velos and at 140,000 resolution (on the QE) it appears to about totally make up for the fact that the pressure at ionization isn't as low as we see on most dedicated imaging MS devices.

The spatial laser and mass resolution of the lipids from these tissues is just incredible. There might be other stuff out there, but this is the first time I've seen something really convincing that says I could get really good imaging data by just buying a second party source -- rather than buying a dedicated imaging mass spectrometer. I don't have real concrete numbers, but the impression I get from a passing offline conversation is that the AP-MALDI source costs about as much as a mid-range HPLC....

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