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Traditional tissue-sectioning techniques for histological samples utilize various embedding media to stabilize the tissue on a sectioning target and to provide a smooth cutting surface. Due to the ion suppression effect in MALDI ionization and number of background peaks in the low-mass region, these media are not suitable for mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) experiments. To overcome this, droplets of water are often used to mount the tissue on a sectioning target, but the ice block formed around the tissue does not provide a good support for sectioning of fragile samples. In this work, we propose a novel embedding media, compatible with MALDI ionization and MSI experiments, based on poly[N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide] (pHPMA). Using a reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization technique, well-defined pHPMA polymer with narrow mass distribution was prepared. Benefits of the resulted pHPMA-based embedding media were tested on different tissue samples.


Martin Strohalm, Jiří Strohalm, Filip Kaftan, Lukáš Krásný, Michael Volný, Petr Novák, Karel Ulbrich, Vladimír Havlíček. Poly[N-(2-hydroxypropyl)methacrylamide]-based tissue-embedding medium compatible with MALDI mass spectrometry imaging experiments. Analytical chemistry. 2011 Jul 1;83(13):5458-62

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PMID: 21634803

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