Table 1

Comparison of properties of immunohistochemistry and MALDI imaging for protein analysis

ImmunohistochemistryMALDI imaging
Spatial informationLocalisation of protein/peptide epitopesLocalisation of proteins/peptides
AntibodiesCostly generation of antibodies, not available for all antigensNo antibodies needed: label free
Tissue thickness2–5 µm slidesTypically, 5–10 µm slides needed
ThroughputLow: one to three antibodies at a timeHigh: up to more than 100 peptides at a time
Tissue typeFFPE and frozen tissueFFPE and frozen tissue
DestructivenessNon-destructiveNon-destructive
Preanalytic factorsNeed to be controlledNeed to be controlled
Tissue dependent
Laboratory proceduresInterlaboratory variabilityNo standardised laboratory procedures yet
InterpretationHuman eye (interobserver variability), unless computer qualification on digital slidesComputer evaluation (no interobserver variability)
QuantificationSemiquantitative Semiquantitative
  • FFPE, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded; MALDI, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation.