Tissue preparation is the key to a successful matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) experiment. Rapid post-mortem changes contribute a significant challenge to the use of MSI approaches for the analysis of peptides and metabolites. In this technical note we aimed to compare the tissue fixation method ex-vivo heat-stabilization with in-situ funnel-freezing in a middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) mouse model of stroke, which causes profound alterations in metabolite concentrations. The influence of the duration of the thaw-mounting of the tissue sections on metabolite stability was also determined. We demonstrate improved stability and biomolecule visualization when funnel-freezing was used to sacrifice the mouse compared with heat-stabilization. Results were further improved when funnel-freezing was combined with fast thaw-mounting of the brain sections.
Keywords: Funnel-freezing; Heat-stabilization; Ischemic stroke; MALDI-MSI; Metabolites; Technology.
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