A mass spectrometry based imaging method developed for the intracellular detection of HIV protease inhibitors

Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2009 Apr;23(8):1183-8. doi: 10.1002/rcm.3981.


Mass spectrometry imaging is a promising technique for measuring drugs and drug metabolites in cells and tissues. In this manuscript we describe a method for the imaging of HIV protease inhibitors. As a model system we used Mono Mac 6 cells cultured with the HIV protease inhibitors saquinavir and nelfinavir deposited on glass slides using a cytocentrifuge. A sublimation/deposition device for homogeneous matrix deposition was constructed which allows imaging of these HIV protease inhibitors at clinically relevant concentrations. Using this matrix sublimation/deposition method, glass slides containing the cytocentrifuged cells can be measured and analyzed by two types of mass spectrometry techniques, viz. matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) and MALDI Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR), and this makes it possible to perform imaging rapidly (MALDI-TOF) and with a very high selectivity (MALDI-FTICR).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Cyclotrons
  • Equipment Design
  • HIV Protease Inhibitors / analysis*
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Nelfinavir / analysis
  • Saquinavir / analysis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization / methods
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared / methods
  • Time Factors


  • HIV Protease Inhibitors
  • Nelfinavir
  • Saquinavir