Mass spectrometry imaging for drug distribution studies

Brendan Prideaux, Markus Stoeckli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


Since its introduction mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) has proven to be a powerful tool for the localization of molecules in biological tissues. In drug discovery and development, understanding the distribution of both drug and its metabolites is of critical importance. Traditional methods suffer from a lack of spatial information (tissue extraction followed by LCMS) or lack of specificity resulting in the inability to resolve parent drug from its metabolites (whole body autoradiography). MSI is a sensitive and label-free approach for imaging drugs and metabolites in tissues. In this article we review the different MSI technologies that have been applied to the imaging of pharmaceuticals. Recent technical advances, applications and current analytical limitations are discussed.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Imaging Mass Spectrometry: A User's Guide to a New Technique for Biological and Biomedical Research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4999-5013
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Proteomics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 30 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug distribution
  • Mass spectrometry imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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