BMBS COST Action BM1104
Mass Spectrometry Imaging: New Tools for Healthcare Research
Mass spectrometry imaging is a rapidly developing technique that uses spatially resolved proteomic and metabolomic techniques to simultaneously trace the distributions of hundreds of biomolecules directly from patient tissue samples. Using essentially the same technology peptides, proteins, pharmaceuticals and metabolites can be analyzed, without a label and without prior knowledge. The driving force behind the high and increasing popularity of imaging mass spectrometry is its demonstrated potential for the determination of new diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers, across several chemical domains, including pathologies of overlapping/identical morphology that cannot be distinguished using established histopathological methods.
All major mass spectrometry vendors now supply instruments capable of imaging experiments, and imaging mass spectrometry is now being implemented in a number of European clinics and pharmaceutical companies. Investigations utilizing mass spectrometry imaging for healthcare research would benefit enormously from standardized, best practice protocols developed by the integrated application and comparison of the formidable array of approaches already developed within individual European laboratories. The concerted research plan enabled by this Action will investigate the full potential of integrated mass spectrometry imaging to develop new molecular diagnostic and prognostic tools for a variety of diseases as well as providing new tools aiding pharmaceutical development.
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