Shimadzu’s New iMLayer AERO Automatic Sprayer Improves Pretreatment Samples for MALDI-MS Imaging


Shimadzu Scientific Instruments (SSI) introduces the iMLayer™ AERO automated sprayer for MALDI-MS imaging. The iMLayer AERO simplifies the pretreatment of samples and enables users to easily obtain images with high sensitivity and high spatial resolution.

Traditional manual sample pretreatments, such as air brush matrix application, rely on the skill of the operator, leading to differing results and creating problems with reproducibility. The iMLayer AERO automates the spraying process, contains an automatic rinsing mechanism and has an in-chamber humidity control function. These features enable sample preparation with a high degree of reproducibility, independent of the environment or the skill of the operator.

The iMLayer AERO works by incorporating a sample stage that moves at a controlled rate while maintaining the same distance from the spray nozzle, enabling stable matrix spraying. Over multiple strokes, the sample becomes laminated with the matrix crystals, enabling high sensitivity and high spatial resolution.

The iMLayer AERO automatically sprays under more stable conditions than with a hand spray. Humidity does not impact matrix deposition because the atmosphere within the spray chamber is replaced before pretreatment. It also provides clog-free reagent delivery because the rinsing mechanism allows for clog-free, stable spraying for high reproducibility in MALDI analyses.

It also achieves sensitivity on par with hand spray, with improved resolution, homogeneity and reproducibility. Users can implement a two-step matrix deposition combining vapor and spray deposition methods to acquire high spatial resolution (5 μm to 10 μm) images and increase sensitivity.