J. Sabine Becker
Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma MS is one of the important inorganic mass spectrometric techniques for quite different applications in material science, environmental science and technology or geology and geochemistry. It offers a fast and precise in situ measurements of trace elements and isotope ratios with high sensitivity in solid samples. Therefore, LA-ICP-MS is often applied for bulk analysis, but pioneering work from Professor Sabine Becker's laboratory at the Research Center Juelich, Germany, has shown that LA-ICP-MS can yield valuable spatial resolved information about the distribution of trace elements in biological specimens. Metalloproteins are a large component of the human proteome and play a significant role in several disease pathways. In this month's Special Feature Prof. Becker offers a perspective on the current state and future of LA-ICP-MS for trace analysis of tissue samples, with a particular focus on applying LA-ICP-MS imaging to learn more about the role of metals in these diseases.