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Metabolic Imaging at the Single-Cell Scale: Recent Advances in Mass Spectrometry Imaging

Authors
  • Gilmore, Ian S.
  • Heiles, Sven
  • Pieterse, Cornelius L.
Type
Published Article
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Jun 12, 2019
Volume
12
Pages
201–224
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-anchem-061318-115516
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
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Abstract

There is an increasing appreciation that every cell, even of the same type, is different. This complexity, when additionally combined with the variety of different cell types in tissue, is driving the need for spatially resolved omics at the single-cell scale. Rapid advances are being made in genomics and transcriptomics, but progress in metabolomics lags. This is partly because amplification and tagging strategies are not suited to dynamically created metabolite molecules. Mass spectrometry imaging has excellent potential for metabolic imaging. This review summarizes the recent advances in two of these techniques: matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and their convergence in subcellular spatial resolution and molecular information. The barriers that have held back progress such as lack of sensitivity and the breakthroughs that have been made including laser-postionization are highlighted as well as the future challenges and opportunities for metabolic imaging at the single-cell scale.

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