iMLayer Matrix Vapor Deposition System

iMLayer Glasses

Crystal Clear Imaging Revolutionary sample preparation for MS imaging

  • Retain high resolution with submicron matrix crystals
  • Achieve reproducible coatings with thickness monitoring
  • Prevent “smearing” with dry coat matrix application
  • Allow any level of user to prepare tissue like an expert

MS imaging is becoming more popular for various application areas such as clinical research and pathology in order to compare cancerous areas with non-cancerous ones, or in the pharmaceutical field to look for a drug's distribution and their metabolites in a tissue. The quality and reproducibility of sample preparation for Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MSI) has limited the widespread acceptance of this technique. iMLayer, a sample preparation device for MSI, uses vapor deposition to deposit submicron matrix crystals onto tissue sections in a very controlled manner. Using this innovative technique of matrix sublimation, researchers are able to take advantage of the high spatial resolution that the MALDI-7090 can achieve.

iMLayer profile

Creation of Submicron Matrix Crystals


The iMLayer uses a matrix vapor deposition technology called sublimation to enable high-resolution MS imaging experiments via the creation of very fine crystals of matrix. Typical “wet” methods such as spraying create crystals that range in size from 30 µm – 60 µm, well above the minimum laser diameter in most Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight Mass Spectrometers (MALDI-TOF MS), creating a blurred image. The submicron particles achieved through sublimation preserve the fine details of the image to provide true high-resolution images.

Minimized Delocalization Effects

Using sublimation technology, which applies a dry coat of matrix, the delocalization or “smearing” effects traditionally known with conventional “wet” techniques like spraying are minimized.

Reproducible Matrix Application

Through an automated matrix layer thickness control, the iMLayer enables a high reproducibility between deposit processes.

“On-the-Fly” Matrix Purification

While impurities are being sublimated out of the matrix, an automated shutter protects the sample. Once the correct temperature is achieved, the sample is uncovered, allowing the matrix to coat the sample.

Simple Touch-pad Operation

A simple user interface makes sample preparation for MSI easy for any level of user. Pre-programmed methods for matrix application can be executed with simple push button operation. iMLayer is easy-to-use as a standalone instrument for any MS imaging experiment.


Front-opening chamber for easy sample loading and intuitive recognition of operation status with indicator LEDs

Technical Note

IMS with iMLayer Matrix Vapor Deposition and MALDI-7090

Matrix Vapor Deposition System iMLayer with MALDI-7090

iMLayer offers users the ability to obtain reproducible, high-resolution images at the press of a button. The submicron matrix crystals resulting from sublimation and the thickness monitor make iMLayer the ideal instrument for matrix application when trying to achieve true high-resolution images. The images below show the true power of iMLayer combined with the imaging capabilities of the MALDI-7090 to achieve high clarity for 10 µm images.


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