How to set up your DESI source for tissue imaging

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  • Published: Dec 6, 2013
  • Author: Steve Down
  • Channels: Raman / Chemometrics & Informatics / Atomic / Base Peak / X-ray Spectrometry / Proteomics / UV/Vis Spectroscopy / Infrared Spectroscopy / NMR Knowledge Base / MRI Spectroscopy

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Wondering how to set up your DESI ion source for tissue imaging? Then wonder no longer as Polish scientists publish a guide including several tips and tricks. Given that DESI is regarded as a simple technique, there are still a number of factors that have to be optimised.

Writing in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, they "provide a set of advice on how to optimise the DESI ion source without wasting time with numerous unsuccessful trials," based on their own experiences and reports of technical problems in other labs.

The main settings are discussed in detail, including capillary protrusion distance, nitrogen gas pressure, solvent flow rate and capillary voltage. The source geometry is also important, with settings like the nebulisation capillary angle and height over the scanned surface, the distance between the nebulisation capillary and mass spectrometer inlet, and the nebulisation capillary and mass spectrometer inlet geometry.

The optimal parameters are tabulated but the researchers point out that "judging from our experience, every type of tissue has its own optimal parameters; therefore, data from the table above should be treated as a good starting point for optimisation but cannot be taken for granted."

Their final recommendation to people trying to set up their source could apply to scientists in any field: "It is recommended to be patient."

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