A Standard Reticle Slide to Objectively Evaluate Spatial Resolution and Instrument Performance in Imaging Mass Spectrometry.
- PMID: 27299987 [PubMed].
Spatial resolution is a key parameter in imaging mass spectrometry (IMS). Aside from being a primary determinant in overall image quality, spatial resolution has important consequences on the acquisition time of the IMS experiment and the resulting file size. Hardware and software modifications during instrumentation development can dramatically affect the spatial resolution achievable using a given imaging mass spectrometer. As such, an accurate and objective method to determine the working spatial resolution is needed to guide instrument development and ensure quality IMS results. We have used lithographic and self-assembly techniques to fabricate a pattern of crystal violet as a standard reticle slide for assessing spatial resolution in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) IMS experiments. The reticle is used to evaluate spatial resolution under user-defined instrumental conditions. Edgespread analysis measures the beam diameter for a Gaussian profile and line scans measure an 'effective' spatial resolution that is a convolution of beam optics and sampling frequency. The patterned crystal violet reticle was also used to diagnose issues with IMS instrumentation such as intermittent losses of pixel data.