An external matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization source for flexible FT-ICR mass spectrometry imaging with internal calibration on adjacent samples
We describe the construction and application of a new MALDI source for FT-ICR mass spectrometry imaging. The source includes a translational X-Y positioning stage with a 10 × 10 cm range of motion for analysis of large sample areas, a quadrupole for mass selection, and an external octopole ion trap with electrodes for the application of an axial potential gradient for controlled ion ejection. An off-line LC MALDI MS/MS run demonstrates the utility of the new source for data- and position-dependent experiments. A FT-ICR MS imaging experiment of a coronal rat brain section yields ∼200 unique peaks from m/z 400–1100 with corresponding mass-selected images. Mass spectra from every pixel are internally calibrated with respect to polymer calibrants collected from an adjacent slide.