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Imaging lipids in biological samples with surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry: A concise review of the last decade
Progress in Lipid Research  (IF16.195),  Pub Date : 2021-07-02, DOI: 10.1016/j.plipres.2021.101114
Wendy H. Müller, Edwin De Pauw, Johann Far, Cedric Malherbe, Gauthier Eppe

Knowing the spatial location of the lipid species present in biological samples is of paramount importance for the elucidation of pathological and physiological processes. In this context, mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) has emerged as a powerful technology allowing the visualization of the spatial distributions of biomolecules, including lipids, in complex biological samples. Among the different ionization methods available, the emerging surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization (SALDI) MSI offers unique capabilities for the study of lipids. This review describes the specific advantages of SALDI-MSI for lipid analysis, including the ability to perform analyses in both ionization modes with the same nanosubstrate, the detection of lipids characterized by low ionization efficiency in MALDI-MS, and the possibilities of surface modification to improve the detection of lipids. The complementarity of SALDI and MALDI-MSI is also discussed. Finally, this review presents data processing strategies applied in SALDI-MSI of lipids, as well as examples of applications of SALDI-MSI in biomedical lipidomics.