25 years of MALDI


25 years of knowledge, innovations, and precision


In 1985, Franz Hillenkamp and Michael Karas described how they ionized alanine by irradiating an alanine-tryptophan mixture with a laser pulse. This matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization laid the foundation of a technology that opened new possibilities across science, from organic and polymer chemistry to proteomics, microbiology and drug development. 

Bruker has been the market leader in MALDI since 1992, when we introduced our first MALDI-TOF system. Over the decades, we have built knowledge to evolve the technology, we pushed boundaries in its application, and we created a world-class family of instruments.

MALDI Knowledge

MALDI Knowledge

MALDI Innovations

Application innovation — a hallmark of MALDI

From 1985 to the present, MALDI has evolved into a powerful, highly versatile technology. The range of its application is nothing short of astounding. MALDI coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry is used to sequence proteins, map biomolecules in tissues, identify microorganisms, and analyze several thousand biochemical assays in a day. 

Insights from research featured in our celebration of MALDI are testament to the diverse advancements MALDI has and continues to catalyze in science.

"High Spatial Resolution Lipid Imaging" - Featured PosterNote

Phospholipid maps provide key insight into cell signaling pathways but stains are largely unable to distinguish species within a specific lipid family.  MALDI imaging combines the specificity of mass spectrometry to distinguish individual species with the ability to map abundance within the tissue architecture.   

Bruker’s rapifleX is ideally suited for mapping lipids in tissue with unsurpassed specificity and spatial resolution. In the latest PosterNote. rapifleX is used to map phospholipids in human lymphoma, revealing highly detailed molecular maps that are found to correlate with histological features of the tissue.


Exceptional instruments and software built on long-standing expertise

MALDI-TOF and TOF/TOF MS are a core focus of Bruker’s technological expertise. Our scientists and engineers have created a market-leading platform that has withstood the test of time. Embodied in a series of innovative instruments, Bruker’s MALDI technology sets standards in protein sequencing, MALDI imaging and polymer analysis because it delivers performance, reliability and convenience that meet the demands of any laboratory.

SCiLS lab - The advanced mass spectrometry imaging software solution

SCiLS Lab is the leading software for analysis of mass spectrometry imaging data and is an integral part of Bruker's MALDI imaging solution. Comparative analysis of multiple samples can be visualized in both 2D and 3D allowing a multitude of applications in pharmaceutical, medical, and industrial research. 

Statistical analysis of MALDI imaging data has never been easier with the software from SCiLS. The product family SCiLS Lab supports all major Bruker instruments and is part of the integrated solutions Molecular Drug Imager and the rapifleX MALDI Tissuetyper. 


For Research Use Only. Not for use in clinical diagnostic procedures.