Laser desorption tissue imaging with Differential Mobility Spectrometry

Maiju Lepomäki, Anna Anttalainen, Artturi Vuorinen, Teemu Tolonen, Anton Kontunen, Markus Karjalainen, Antti Vehkaoja, Antti Roine, Niku Oksala

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Pathological gross examination of breast carcinoma samples is sometimes laborious. A tissue pre-mapping method could indicate neoplastic areas to the pathologist and enable focused sampling. Differential Mobility Spectrometry (DMS) is a rapid and affordable technology for complex gas mixture analysis. We present an automated tissue laser analysis system for imaging approaches (iATLAS), which utilizes a computer-controlled laser evaporator unit coupled with a DMS gas analyzer. The system is demonstrated in the classification of porcine tissue samples and three human breast carcinomas. Tissue samples from eighteen landrace pigs were classified with the system based on a pre-designed matrix (spatial resolution 1–3 mm). The smoke samples were analyzed with DMS, and tissue classification was performed with several machine learning approaches. Porcine skeletal muscle (n = 1030), adipose tissue (n = 1329), normal breast tissue (n = 258), bone (n = 680), and liver (n = 264) were identified with 86% cross-validation (CV) accuracy with a convolutional neural network (CNN) model. Further, a panel tissue that comprised all five tissue types was applied as an independent validation dataset. In this test, 82% classification accuracy with CNN was achieved. An analogous procedure was applied to demonstrate the feasibility of iATLAS in breast cancer imaging according to 1) macroscopically and 2) microscopically annotated data with 10-fold CV and SVM (radial kernel). We reached a classification accuracy of 94%, specificity of 94%, and sensitivity of 93% with the macroscopically annotated data from three breast cancer specimens. The microscopic annotation was applicable to two specimens. For the first specimen, the classification accuracy was 84% (specificity 88% and sensitivity 77%). For the second, the classification accuracy was 72% (specificity 88% and sensitivity 24%). This study presents a promising method for automated tissue imaging in an animal model and lays foundation for breast cancer imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104759
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Breast cancer
  • Differential Mobility Spectrometry (DMS)
  • Field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS)
  • Tissue imaging
  • Tissue mapping

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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