Identification and localization of trauma-related biomarkers using matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry

Kirstin Jones, Matthew A. Reilly, Randolph D. Glickman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Current treatments for ocular and optic nerve trauma are largely ineffective and may have adverse side effects; therefore, new approaches are needed to understand trauma mechanisms. Identification of trauma-related biomarkers may yield insights into the molecular aspects of tissue trauma that can contribute to the development of better diagnostics and treatments. The conventional approach for protein biomarker measurement largely relies on immunoaffinity methods that typically can only be applied to analytes for which antibodies or other targeting means are available. Matrix assisted laser-assisted desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS) is a specialized application of mass spectrometry that not only is well suited to the discovery of novel or unanticipated biomarkers, but also provides information about the spatial localization of biomarkers in tissue. We have been using MALDI-IMS to find traumarelated protein biomarkers in retina and optic nerve tissue from animal models subjected to ocular injury produced by either blast overpressure or mechanical torsion. Work to date by our group, using MALDI-IMS, found that the pattern of protein expression is modified in the injured ocular tissue as soon as 24 hr post-injury, compared to controls. Specific proteins may be up-or down-regulated by trauma, suggesting different tissue responses to a given injury. Ongoing work is directed at identifying the proteins affected and mapping their expression in the ocular tissue, anticipating that systematic analysis can be used to identify targets for prospective therapies for ocular trauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVisualizing and Quantifying Drug Distribution in Tissue
ISBN (Electronic)9781510605336
StatePublished - 2017
EventVisualizing and Quantifying Drug Distribution in Tissue - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Jan 28 2017 → …


OtherVisualizing and Quantifying Drug Distribution in Tissue
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Period1/28/17 → …


  • Biomarker discovery
  • ocular trauma
  • optic nerve
  • protein biomarkers
  • retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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