2012 Volume 35 Issue 9 Pages 1425-1431
Single-cell analysis has attracted attention in many fields of biological studies as a tool to survey the precise mechanisms of cellular and molecular behavior. The development of sensitive mass spectrometry allows the study of molecules in single cells or small regions. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry and secondary-ion mass spectrometry use in situ ionization of specimens on sample plates to visualize molecular distributions as images from mass spectra. Several single-cell mass spectrometry technologies that initially recover a single cell followed by ionization have been developed. Among them, only nanospray-mediated sampling and ionization named Live Single-cell Mass Spectrometry can be used for real-time analysis. This paper explains that method in detail.