Getting the picture: The coming of age of imaging MS

Ron M. A. Heeren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This retrospective on imaging mass spectrometry describes the coming of age of an approach that has matured from an innovative technological development to a broadly applied analytical tool. A look back in time reveals how the breadth of imaging mass spectrometry has expanded from a purely (semiconductor) surface physics field to its recent impact on biomedicine, nanotechnology and culture. The impact of historical milestones in desorption and ionization technologies on the progress in modern multimodal molecular imaging technologies is described and discussed. A concise picture is sketched of the roadmap that contains the key advances in imaging mass spectrometry methods and technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)672-680
JournalInternational Journal of Mass Spectrometry
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • Mass spectrometry imaging
  • Desorption and ionization
  • SIMS
  • Top-down imaging
  • High spatial resolution


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