Fluorocarbons are lipophobic and non-polar molecules that exhibit remarkable biocompatibility, with applications in liquid ventilation and synthetic blood. The unique properties of these compounds have also enabled mass spectrometry imaging of tissues where the fluorocarbons act as a Teflon-like coating for nanostructured surfaces to assist in desorption/ionization. Here we report fluorinated gold nanoparticles (f-AuNPs) designed to facilitate nanostructure imaging mass spectrometry. Irradiation of f-AuNPs results in the release of the fluorocarbon ligands providing a driving force for analyte desorption. The f-AuNPs allow for the mass spectrometry analysis of both lipophilic and polar (central carbon) metabolites. An important property of AuNPs is that they also act as contrast agents for X-ray microtomography and electron microscopy, a feature we have exploited by infusing f-AuNPs into tissue via fluorocarbon liquids to facilitate multimodal (molecular and anatomical) imaging.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)