Two-dimensional graphene as a matrix for MALDI imaging mass spectrometry.
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Here, a matrix using two-dimensional (2D) graphene is demonstrated for the first time in the context of MALDI IMS using a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometer. Although graphene flakes have been used previously in MALDI, it is described here how a single 2D layer of graphene is applied directly on top of rat brain sections and soybean leaves. Several classes of molecules are desorbed and ionized off of the surface of the tissues examined using 2D graphene, with minimal background interference from the matrix. Moreover, no solvents are employed in application of 2D graphene, eliminating the potential for analyte diffusion in liquid droplets during matrix application. Because 2D graphene is an elemental form of carbon, an additional advantage is its high compatibility with the long duration needed for many IMS experiments. Graphical Abstract .