MALDI Imaging technologies

MALDI Imaging technologies

Using MALDI to spatially measure molecular signatures

For more than 25 years, Bruker has been the leader in MALDI mass spectrometry innovation. MALDI is amenable for any analytical task and this is exemplified in the scientific literature where MALDI imaging publications dominate 5:1 over the next ionization technology. Bruker delivers MALDI imaging systems that incorporate novel MALDI technologies to accomplish any targeted or untargeted imaging study.

Spatially oriented molecular signatures

Images are generated by collecting MALDI data in a virtual grid pattern applied to a sample surface. Thin sections of samples are mounted onto conductive glass slides and a layer of MALDI matrix is applied by aerosol. Bruker’s MALDI imaging technologies allow the user to define the measurement area and resolution directly using a digital image of the sample. The size of the virtual grid establishes the image resolution and is tailored for the experimental question to be answered. 

Given each MALDI spectrum is acquired from a discrete virtual grid without oversampling, the resulting dataset is a molecular signature of the unique area sampled. Unlike ionization systems which utilize oversampling, Bruker’s MALDI imaging technologies produce ion images which do not exhibit image ‘blurring’.

Basic imaging 500px
MALDI imaging process generates spatial intensity maps of any detected compound.

Imaging technologies - Analytical versatility and imaging speed

For biomarker discovery imaging studies, Bruker’s FLEX series of MALDI-TOF and TOF/TOF systems offer the greatest analytical versatility and imaging speed. For this reason, MALDI-TOF platforms are the most widely used imaging systems found in scientific literature.


autoflex maX with Bruker’s proprietary smartbeam II laser and optional TOF/TOF is a versatile system for anyone beginning a MALDI imaging research program.


UltrafleXtreme with standard TOF/TOF and smartbeam II laser offers the performance and capability to accomplish any imaging measurement.


rapifleX is the most advanced MALDI-TOF imaging system on the market and was designed specifically for MALDI imaging applications. rapifleX incorporates the revolutionary move and shoot smartbeam 3D laser optics. Only rapifleX delivers high image resolution and high speed.

Highest molecular specificity


For targeted imaging studies, Bruker’s solariX and scimaX of Magnetic Resonance Mass Spectrometers (MRMS) offer the highest molecular specificity of any MALDI imaging system on the market.  At imaging speed, solariX delivers > 290,000 mass resolution at m/z 400 for differentiating and mapping compounds that differ by only a few mDa.

timsTOF fleX

The timsTOF fleX is a versatile instrument for extracting the highest molecular information from your sample.  Built on Bruker’s pioneering timsTOF Pro platform, the timsTOF fleX powers all your X-Omics analyses, and adds a high spatial resolution MALDI Imaging source specifically designed for resolving molecular distributions and bringing a spatial dimension to OMICS analyses. Transform proteomics analysis into spatial proteomics, lipidomics into spatial lipidomics, and metabolomics into spatial metabolomics.

For Research Use Only. Not for Use in Clinical Diagnostic Procedures.