Subcellular Mass Spectrometry Imaging and Absolute Quantitative Analysis across Organelles
Journal article, 2020

Mass spectrometry imaging is a field that promises to become a mainstream bioanalysis technology by allowing the combination of single-cell imaging and subcellular quantitative analysis. The frontier of single-cell imaging has advanced to the point where it is now possible to compare the chemical contents of individual organelles in terms of raw or normalized ion signal. However, to realize the full potential of this technology, it is necessary to move beyond this concept of relative quantification. Here we present a nanoSIMS imaging method that directly measures the absolute concentration of an organelle-associated, isotopically labeled, pro-drug directly from a mass spectrometry image. This is validated with a recently developed nanoelectrochemistry method for single organelles. We establish a limit of detection based on the number of isotopic labels used and the volume of the organelle of interest, also offering this calculation as a web application. This approach allows subcellular quantification of drugs and metabolites, an overarching and previously unmet goal in cell science and pharmaceutical development.

mass spectrometry imaging

subcellular concentration





Aurélien Thomen

University of Gothenburg

Neda Najafinobar

AstraZeneca AB

Florent Penen

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Emma Kay

AstraZeneca AB

Pratik P. Upadhyay

AstraZeneca AB

Li Xianchan

Minzu University of China

Nhu TN Phan

University of Gothenburg

Per Malmberg

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Magnus Klarqvist

AstraZeneca AB

Shalini Andersson

AstraZeneca AB

Michael Kurczy

AstraZeneca AB

Andrew Ewing

University of Gothenburg

ACS Nano

1936-0851 (ISSN) 1936-086X (eISSN)

Vol. 14 4 4316-4325

Subject Categories

Analytical Chemistry

Biomedical Laboratory Science/Technology

Medical Image Processing





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