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Review

Mapping the Chemistry of Hair Strands by Mass Spectrometry Imaging—A Review

1
Lund University Cancer Center, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
2
Lund Stem Cell Center, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University, 221 84 Lund, Sweden
3
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Beata Polak and Irina B. Karadjova
Molecules 2021, 26(24), 7522; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26247522
Received: 8 November 2021 / Revised: 29 November 2021 / Accepted: 8 December 2021 / Published: 11 December 2021
Hair can record chemical information reflecting our living conditions, and, therefore, strands of hair have become a potent analytical target within the biological and forensic sciences. While early efforts focused on analyzing complete hair strands in bulk, high spatial resolution mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) has recently come to the forefront of chemical hair-strand analysis. MSI techniques offer a localized analysis, requiring fewer de-contamination procedures per default and making it possible to map the distribution of analytes on and within individual hair strands. Applying the techniques to hair samples has proven particularly useful in investigations quantifying the exposure to, and uptake of, toxins or drugs. Overall, MSI, combined with optimized sample preparation protocols, has improved precision and accuracy for identifying several elemental and molecular species in single strands of hair. Here, we review different sample preparation protocols and use cases with a view to make the methodology more accessible to researchers outside of the field of forensic science. We conclude that—although some challenges remain, including contamination issues and matrix effects—MSI offers unique opportunities for obtaining highly resolved spatial information of several compounds simultaneously across hair surfaces. View Full-Text
Keywords: mass spectrometry imaging; hair analysis; sample preparation mass spectrometry imaging; hair analysis; sample preparation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Philipsen, M.H.; Haxen, E.R.; Manaprasertsak, A.; Malmberg, P.; Hammarlund, E.U. Mapping the Chemistry of Hair Strands by Mass Spectrometry Imaging—A Review. Molecules 2021, 26, 7522. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26247522

AMA Style

Philipsen MH, Haxen ER, Manaprasertsak A, Malmberg P, Hammarlund EU. Mapping the Chemistry of Hair Strands by Mass Spectrometry Imaging—A Review. Molecules. 2021; 26(24):7522. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26247522

Chicago/Turabian Style

Philipsen, Mai H., Emma R. Haxen, Auraya Manaprasertsak, Per Malmberg, and Emma U. Hammarlund. 2021. "Mapping the Chemistry of Hair Strands by Mass Spectrometry Imaging—A Review" Molecules 26, no. 24: 7522. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26247522

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