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Spatial Metabolomics Service

By using the Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) instrument, metabolites on tissue sections are collected and detected point by point. Through data analysis, the metabolites detected at each point on the tissue section are restored to a two-dimensional plane, thereby obtaining qualitative, quantitative, and localization information of small molecule metabolites.

Introduction of AFADESI-MSI

Creative Biolabs has made significant advancements in their spatial metabolomics platform through the integration of desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry imaging (DESI-MSI) technology, resulting in the pioneering development of air flow-assisted ionization desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry imaging (AFAI-MSI) technology. By employing airflow and transmission tubes for the extended conveyance of charged droplets, these droplets undergo further desolvation, enrichment, and ionization through the influence of high-speed airflow and voltage. This remarkable enhancement elevates the sensitivity of detection to unprecedented levels. Furthermore, it expands the spatial and operational versatility of the samples under examination, enabling the collection and imaging analysis of voluminous samples over long distances, transcending the limitations of solely single tissue samples.

Workflow of Spatial Metabolomics (AFADESI-MSI)

1. A certain high voltage is applied to the electrospray capillary nozzle. The spray solvent flows out from the inner tube of the nebulizer and is quickly atomized into charged spray droplets by the high-pressure nitrogen ejected from the outer tube.
2. The high-speed charged droplets that are sprayed out bombard the surface of the sample to be tested, and the sample is simultaneously desorbed and ionized under the effect of solvent extraction.
3. The charged droplets containing the sample to be tested rapidly undergo desolvation. They enter the analyzer through the collection cone hole of the mass spectrometer and are detected.
4. The sample is fixed on the carrying platform, and the carrying platform is moved continuously or in pulses to perform a two-dimensional scan of the sample.
5. Meanwhile, the mass spectrometer records the intensity of the mass spectral signal to obtain the molecules on the sample surface and their content.
6. After this information is converted through mass spectrometric imaging analysis software, a two-dimensional spatial intensity distribution map of the selected ions or ion groups can be obtained.

Single Cell Spatial Metabolomics Service

At Creative Biolabs, we can provide highly customized spatial metabolomics service. We are aiming to help you elucidating the cellular heterogeneity of metabolite generation under particular conditions at particular time intervals.

For more information, please contact us.

Workflow of spatial metabolomics.Fig.1 Workflow of spatial metabolomics. (Creative Biolabs)

Published Data

Paper Title Spatially Resolved Multi-omics Highlights Cell-specific Metabolic Remodeling and Interactions in Gastric Cancer
Journal Nature Communications
Published 2023
Abstract Incorporating mass spectrometry imaging-based spatial metabolomics and lipidomics with microarray-based spatial transcriptomics, the study elucidates gastric cancer's intratumor metabolic heterogeneity and cellular metabolic interactions. By examining tumor-associated metabolic reprogramming at metabolic-transcriptional levels, marker metabolites, lipids, and genes are linked within metabolic pathways and co-localized amid diverse cancerous tissues. Spatial multi-omics integration cogently discerns cell types and distributions throughout the intricate tumor microenvironment, characterizing a pronounced immune cell-driven "tumor-normal interface" region where neoplastic cells engage neighboring tissues. This region exhibits distinct transcriptional patterns and substantial immunometabolic shifts. The innovative methodology for charting tissue molecular configurations yields a comprehensive perspective of intratumor disparities, revolutionizing comprehension of cancer metabolism on a systemic scale.
Result The study involved the examination of gastric cancer samples obtained from seven patients through a 10-micron frozen sectioning technique. Subsequent analyses employed advanced methodologies, including air flow-assisted desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry imaging (AFADESI-MSI) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI) for spatial metabolomics (SM) and lipidomics (SL), respectively. Additionally, spatial transcriptomics (ST) utilizing 10x Genomics Visium at a resolution of 100 μm was performed on four samples. Distinct patterns of spatial expression disparities were observed in the clustering of metabolome and lipid profiles. A comprehensive unsupervised probabilistic latent semantic analysis (PLSA) segregated the variables into five fundamental components, reflecting the primary spatial characteristics of tissue metabolites and lipid species. Notably, the investigation of spatial transcriptomics identified ten discrete clusters within the gastric cancer tissue sections, each representing distinct spatial arrangements.

Spatially resolved multi-omics reveals intratumor heterogeneity of gastric cancer.Fig.2 Spatially resolved multi-omics reveals intratumor heterogeneity of gastric cancer. (Sun, 2023)


  1. Sun, C.; et al. Spatially resolved multi-omics highlights cell-specific metabolic remodeling and interactions in gastric cancer. Nature Communications. 2023, 14(1): 2692.
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