The MS Team plays collaborative roles in research projects within the institute as well as in research consortiums (e.g., Collaborative Research Centers of the German Research Foundation). The focus of our method development is on the use of imaging mass spectrometry for the analysis of chemically modified surfaces and molecular species in cells. We collaborate widely, especially with synthetic/material chemists to elucidate chemical gradients in 2D, 3D materials and in 3D-tumor models.
Mass Spectrometry in Tumor Microenvironment
We are developing mass spectrometry imaging for chemical analysis in complex biological environment. In this regards, we seek to gain a deeper understanding of complex processes such as drug release and metabolism in a label free manner. We have collaborated with various groups to identify the molecular species from degradation of nanomaterials and to understand drug release profiles in cancer cells. Together with the Biocore team, we are currently devoloping MALDI-imaging techniques to follow the fate of synthetic life-like systems and nanotherapeutics in in vitro 3D-tumor models. In addition, we are developing MS-imaging methods that will enable the detection of changes in endogenous cellular composition, e.g. proteins, brought about from cell-synthetic material communication within a dynamic tumor microenvironment.
Surface Characterization of 2D Materials
We use MS methods to analyse chemically modified surfaces to understand defect chemistry, reactions at interfaces and composition of molecular monolayers in various 2D materials. Together with various groups in the institute, we have determined the surface chemistry of 2D heterostructures, depth profile in casted films, as well as chemical kinetics. Such investigations and method development are important for understanding ultrathin materials and could be important for their manufacturing and transfer processes.