Controlled-pH Tissue Cleanup Protocol for Signal Enhancement of Small Molecule Drugs Analyzed by MALDI-MS Imaging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The limit of detection of low-molecular weight compounds in tissue sections, analyzed by matrix assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI), was significantly improved by employing sample washing using a pH-controlled buffer solution. The pH of the washing solutions were set at values whereby the target analytes would have low solubility. Washing the tissue sections in the buffered solution resulted in removal of endogenous soluble ionization-suppressing compounds and salts, while the target compound remained in situ with minor or no delocalization during the buffered washing procedure. Two pharmaceutical compounds (cimetidine and imipramine) and one new protease inhibitor compound were successfully used to evaluate the feasibility of the pH-controlled tissue washing protocol for MALDI-MSI. Enhancement in signal-to-noise ratio was achieved by a factor of up to 10.


  • Mohammadreza Shariatgorji
  • Patrik Kallback
  • Lena Gustavsson
  • Nicoletta Schintu
  • Per Svenningsson
  • Richard J. A. Goodwin
  • Per E. Andren
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Analytical Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4603-4607
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Tumour Cell Biology (013017530)