Elizabeth Randall

Doctoral researcher
Physical Sciences of Imaging in the Biomedical Sciences CDT

Completed in 2016 and gained a post-doctoral research fellowship.

Thesis project -"Combining SRS and MS for High Resolution Quantitative Imaging of Drugs, Lipids and Proteins in Tissue: Powerful New Tools for Pharmaceutical Research"

Dr Josephine Bunch, National Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry Imaging, NPL
Professor Helen Cooper, School of Biosciences
Dr Iain Styles, School of Computer Science

Over recent years the capabilities of chemical imaging techniques such as mass spectrometry imaging and Raman microscopy have begun to be realised. MALDI and LESA coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry are routinely used in the spatially resolved detection of proteins, lipids and small molecule drug molecules. Stimulated Raman Scattering microscopy is used for the non-destructive imaging of biomolecules in cells and tissues at high resolution under atmospheric conditions. Each technique however is associated with limitations; MALDI MS cannot be used as a quantitative technique unless the effects of ion suppression can be better understood and Raman spectra are difficult to interpret due to the high numbers of vibrational modes excited by infrared radiation. It is proposed that through the combination of these techniques, the high molecular specificity of mass spectrometry may be used to help interpret Raman spectra, and the non-destructive nature of Raman spectroscopy may be used to better understand how mass spectrometric sampling techniques materially alter the sample.

This project proposes to develop both MS and Raman imaging techniques alongside each other on a range of novel sample types including pharmaceutical and preclinical study tissue samples. Methods will be optimised for the simultaneous detection of proteins, lipids and drugs and their metabolites in order to establish their spatial locations in a quantitative manner.