2D-Analysis of Biological Cells

The detection of both pharmaceutically active and potentially harmful substances in biological cells is important in the medical industry. Historically, investigations on the uptake, the working mechanism, and the metabolism of these compounds depended on labeling the relevant compound with fluorescent dyes or (radioactive) isotope.  ToF-SIMS has the potential to identify species without the need for labeling; however, since ToF-SIMS is a vacuum technique, fixation procedures are used to preserve the intact cellular structures.  In order to demonstrate that surface mass spectrometry can yield comparable results to established techniques, such as fluorescence microscopy, the distribution of the fluorophore in a biological cell was investigated using fluorescence microscopy and ToF-SIMS. Both techniques are in good agreement and ToF-SIMS enables the “label-free” mass spectrometric localization of the fluorophore. More details about this study are available in the corresponding publication


Fluorescence microscope image of the fluorescent label Mass spectrometric image of the fluorescent label