= Emerging. More than 5 years before clinical availability. (16.60%, 2024)
= Expected to be clinically available in 1 to 4 years. (37.02%, 2024)
= Clinically available now. (46.38%, 2024)
MSACL 2024 : Verhaert

MSACL 2024 Abstract

Self-Classified Topic Area(s): Imaging > Imaging > none

Podium Presentation in De Anza 1 on Thursday at 16:40 (Chair: Zoltan Takats)

(Top-down) Mass Spectrometry Histochemistry on sections of FFPE Tissue Banks: current status and future perspectives

Peter Verhaert [1], Maureen Feucherolles [2], Marthe Verhaert [1,3,5], Gilles Frache [2], Dick Swaab [4], Dietmar Thal [5], Raf Sciot [5]
1. ProteoFormiX, (Vorselaar, Belgium); 2. Luxembourg Institute for Science and Technology (Belvaux, Luxembourg); 3. Free University of Brussels, Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine (Brussels, Belgium); 4. Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience Amsterdam (Netherlands); 5. University of Leuven, Faculty of Medicine, Pathology (Leuven, Belgium)

Peter Verhaert, Prof. PhD (Presenter)

Presenter Bio: Peter VERHAERT was full professor Analytical Biotechnology and Innovative Peptide Biology at Delft University of Technology [Netherlands; 2005 – 2016] before founding his company ProteoFormiX (www.proteoformix.com). His Flemish research startup is alumnus of JLABS, the J&J Innovation Center, and was born at JLABS@BE on the Campus of Janssen Pharmaceuticals in Beerse [Belgium; 2017].

Peter is recognized worldwide as one of the pioneers in Peptidomics, Peptides in Biology being the common theme in his >35 years of research.

Prior to taking up his academic position in Delft and ultimately starting his own research company in Beerse, Peter's international career already combined academic and industrial positions:
He obtained an MSc in Biology (Zoology Group) and a PhD in Comparative Neurobiology at the University of Leuven, where he held a position as assistant professor [Belgium; 1983-1987].
He then took on a postdoc position at the Laboratory of Toxicology and Biochemistry in the Biology Department of the University of Waterloo [Canada; 1988].
Upon returning to the University of Leuven, he became an associate professor in Histology and Biological Mass Spectrometry [Belgium; 1988-1999].
After an industrial sabbat year at the Flemish Biotech Innogenetics in Ghent [Belgium; 1998-1999], Peter was appointed group leader Proteomics at the Dutch Pharma company Organon (now MSD) in Oss [Netherlands; 2000-2004].

His other professional activities include:
• Co-founder and president of the European Pharmaceutical Proteomics Laboratories (EPPL) [2000-2004];
• Proteomics expert at the Flemish Institute of Biotechnology (VIB) [2000-2004];
• Visiting professor Biomedical Proteomics at the Biomedical Research Institute at the Faculty of Medicine of Hasselt University [Belgium; 2004-2014];
• Editor-in-chief of the Elsevier Open Access Journal EuPA Open Proteomics [2013-2016]
• Co-director of the Center of Excellence in Biomedical Mass Spectrometry (CEBMMS) at the Faculty of Medicine (Clinical Sciences Department) of Lund University [Sweden; 2016];
• Honorary professor Mass Spectrometry Histochemistry at the Maastricht Multimodal Molecular Imaging Institute (M4i) of Maastricht University [Netherlands; 2017-].


For (light) microscopy, formaldehyde fixation and paraffin embedding (FFPE) is the method of preference in pathology. For mass spectrometry imaging (MSI), however, FFPE tissue processing has long been considered of little use. FFPE is designed to chemically crosslink biomolecules, and the extensive tissue washing and solvent immersion protocol is known to abundantly extract many compounds from the sample. Early disappointing MSI results, which failed to detect, in particular, low-abundant and/or poorly ionizable biomolecules in FFPE material, seemed to confirm this.

With recent generation mass spectrometers and careful sample processing, revisiting FFPE samples, such as those ubiquitously archived in tissue banks all over the world, does allow successful top down MSI of biologically relevant signaling molecules in histological sections. We call this 'Mass spectrometry histochemistry' (MSHC). Our recent MSHC experiments, which observe short deparaffination times and precise matrix application conditions, indicate that not only (secretory) endogenous peptides and certain metabolites, but also small biomolecules such as neurotransmitters can be directly imaged in FFPE sections, i.e., without the necessity to employ enzymes or derivatization reagents to boost their ionization efficiency.

We will show the latest developments in FFPE MSHC, revealing data generated on platforms consisting of atmospheric pressure MALDI (AP/MALDI) fitted to various HRMS systems (different orbitrap systems in particular). Cross-platform comparative MSHC analyses illustrate that each new instrument generation yields extra performance in terms of sensitivity, MS accuracy, as well as data acquisition speed.

In summary, MSHC makes FFPE material from (well-documented) human clinical samples accessible for for innovative in situ biomarker research in pathology with cellular spatial resolution.

Financial Disclosure

Board Memberno
IP Royaltyno

Planning to mention or discuss specific products or technology of the company(ies) listed above: