Preparing ductal epithelial organoids for high-spatial-resolution molecular profiling using mass spectrometry imaging

B. Bakker, R.D.W. Vaes, M.R. Aberle, T. Welbers, T. Hankemeier, S.S. Rensen, S.W.M.O. Damink, R.M.A. Heeren*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Organoids are increasingly used as model systems in precision medicine, but they are delicate, making it difficult to get accurate spatial chemical information. This protocol describes how to prepare organoid samples for mass spectrometry imaging.Organoid culture systems are self-renewing, three-dimensional (3D) models derived from pluripotent stem cells, adult derived stem cells or cancer cells that recapitulate key molecular and structural characteristics of their tissue of origin. They generally form into hollow structures with apical-basolateral polarization. Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is a powerful analytical method for detecting a wide variety of molecules in a single experiment while retaining their spatiotemporal distribution. Here we describe a protocol for preparing organoids for MSI that (1) preserves the 3D morphological structure of hollow organoids, (2) retains the spatiotemporal distribution of a vast array of molecules (3) and enables accurate molecular identification based on tandem mass spectrometry. The protocol specifically focuses on the collection and embedding of the organoids in gelatin, and gives recommendations for MSI-specific sample preparation, data acquisition and molecular identification by tandem mass spectrometry. This method is applicable to a wide range of organoids from different origins, and takes 1 d from organoid collection to MSI data acquisition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)962-979
Number of pages18
JournalNature Protocols
Issue number4
Early online date18 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022



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