Investigating MALDI MSI parameters (Part 2) - On the use of a mechanically shuttered trigger system for improved laser energy stability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Rory T Steven
  • Alexander Dexter
  • Josephine Bunch

Colleges, School and Institutes


Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is now widely used to desorb, ionize and detect molecules from complex samples and tissue sections. The detected ion intensity within MALDI MS and MSI is intimately linked to the laser energy per pulse incident upon the sample during analysis. Laser energy/power stability can be significantly affected by the manner in which the laser is operated. High-repetition rate diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) lasers are being increasingly adopted to enable high-throughput MALDI MSI analysis. Within this work two different laser-triggering setups are used to demonstrate the effect of laser energy instabilities due to spiking and thermal control phenomena and a setup with a shutter to remove these effects. The effect of non-equilibrium laser operation on MALDI MSI data versus the more stable laser pulse energy of the shutter-triggered system is demonstrated in thin films of α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (CHCA) and for imaging of murine brain tissue sections. Significant unwanted variations in absolute and relative detected ion intensity are shown where energy variation is introduced by these phenomena, which return to equilibrium within the setup employed here over timescales relevant to MALDI MS analysis.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-7
Number of pages7
Early online date16 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2016