Molecular histology of arteries: mass spectrometry imaging as a novel ex vivo tool to investigate atherosclerosis.
In the field of small-molecule studies, vast efforts have been put forth in order to comprehensively characterize and quantify metabolites formed from complex mechanistic pathways within biochemical and biological organisms. Many technologies and methodologies have been developed to aid understanding of the inherent complexities within biological metabolomes. Specifically, mass spectroscopy imaging (MSI) has emerged as a foundational technique in gaining insight into the molecular entities within cells, tissues, and whole-body samples. In this chapter we provide a brief overview of major technical components involved in MSI, including topics such as sample preparation, analyte ionization, ion detection, and data analysis. Emerging applications are briefly summarized as well, but details will be presented in the following chapters.