MALDI Guided SpatialOMx on the timsTOF fleX from Bruker Daltonics

The timsTOF fleX integrates best-in-class 4D X-Omics with Bruker’s revolutionary MALDI Imaging technology, including SmartBeam 3D laser optics for rapid measurement all-in-one system, based on the benchmark for shotgun proteomics.

A twin-source instrument perfect for SpatialOMx, timsTOF fleX conducts powerful ESI measurements and spatially resolves a broad range of molecules straight from the tissue using a single platform. No single instrument has delivered access to both the vital capabilities for the most advanced OMICS scientists.

Schematic of the timsTOF fleX

Schematic of the timsTOF fleX

Direct Molecular Profiling from Tissue with MALDI Imaging

MALDI Imaging is a label-free tool for analyzing molecule distribution directly from thin tissue sections. Appropriate for inspecting a wide variety of analytes, including lipids, metabolites, or glycans, and flawlessly matching with microscopy workflows, MALDI Imaging can recognize regionally precise compound distributions for SpatialOMx analyses. Bruker’s IntelliSlides can be used for automated MALDI Imaging, and SpatialOMx workflows can be done with the timsTOF flex.

TIMS removes isobaric interferences in lipid imaging. Blue: m/z 762.6 +/-0.016; mob. 1.45 +/- 0.012 Yellow: m/z 762.6 +/-0.016; mob. 1.48 +/- 0.015

TIMS removes isobaric interferences in lipid imaging.
Blue: m/z 762.6 +/-0.016; mob. 1.45 +/- 0.012
Yellow: m/z 762.6 +/-0.016; mob. 1.48 +/- 0.015

From 4D OMICS to Molecular Imaging without Stopping, Changing, Modifying or Compromises

SpatialOMx requires PASEF-enabled LC-MS/MS for deep 4D OMICS integrated with the ability to develop molecular images of tissue sections using MALDI Imaging. To achieve this using a single platform, Bruker engineers began with the award-winning TIMS dual-stage ion funnel and integrated target stage and laser elements from the rapifleX axial TOF tool.

While operating, software activation of the SmartBeam 3D laser is the only alteration in the source region. Simple switching ascertains no compromises in productivity and the ability to transition smoothly from world-class OMICS identification and quantification workflows to the development of high-definition tissue section molecular maps to explore what matters the most.

Since ions developed by MALDI and ESI travel the same path from the source to the detector, MALDI workflows can exploit the most advanced features found in the timsTOF Pro, such as TIMS ion mobility separation based on the collisional cross-section of detected molecules and high-speed high-sensitivity PASEF fragmentation. Modification and calibration can be carried out in ESI mode and used for the MALDI experiment for further ease of optimization.

Zoom Mode to See What Really Matters

In addition to the ability to produce high definition “True Pixel” MALDI images, the SmartBeam 3D laser source offers rock-solid laser-guided targeting down to 10 µm with Bruker’s new zoom mode technology. Users currently have the flexibility to alter their laser spot size and spacing to allow a wider variety of granularity based on biological features of interest.

Mouse retina measured for lipids at 10 µm in Zoom mode. Scale bar indicates 100 µm (Image courtesy Jeffrey Spraggins, Ph.D., Mass Spectrometry Research Center, Vanderbilt University)

Mouse retina measured for lipids at 10 µm in Zoom mode. Scale bar indicates 100 µm
(Image courtesy Jeffrey Spraggins, Ph.D., Mass Spectrometry Research Center, Vanderbilt University)