MALDI sprayer

SunCollect as a Sprayer for MALDI Imaging

MALDI Imaging mass spectrometry enables the visualization of the spatial distribution of proteins, peptides, pharmaceutical compounds and their metabolites, biomarkers or other compounds within thin slices of sample such as human, animal or plant tissue. It is a promising tool for putative biomarker characterization and drug development. Recent work has also demonstrated the capacity to create three-dimensional molecular images using the MALDI Imaging technology and co-registration of these image volumes to other imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The sample preparation is often the limiting factor in spatial resolution. Limiting factors include crystal size and homogeneity of the matrix coverage and the undesirable migration/diffusion of analytes.

Groundbreaking Tissue Coverage

The SunCollect System uses an optimized spray generator to produce extremely small matrix droplet sizes. It ‘atomizes’ the matrix solution with its patented spray nozzle using compressed air (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Close-Up picture of SunCollect spray nozzle tip

If desired, SunCollect can be also connected to local nitrogen gas or air supplies.

SunCollect enables the user to produce by far the finest matrix crystals worldwide in combination with a very high homogeneity. For α-Cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (CHCA), crystal sizes of 100 – 200 nm can be achieved (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Homogeneous layer of CHCA sprayed on empty glass slide (left) and on cryo-section of human testicle (tight) using SunCollect.

Furthermore, the SunCollect System is extremely fast: To cover a standard ITO glass slide (75 x 25 mm) it takes about 50 seconds per layer. The patented multi-layer-technique allows additionally a very high efficiency for analyte extraction while keeping the spatial resolution (Figure 3).

Figure 3: MALDI Imaging cryo-sections of mouse brain tissue slides. (Courtesy of Prof. von Eggeling, IPC Jena University, Germany). Images were created using a Bruker “UltrafleXtreme” at a 50 µm raster width of a medium [30-40 µm] laser size. Sample preparation was performed with SunCollect.