Multimodal integration between mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) and radiology-established modalities such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) would allow the investigations of key questions in complex biological systems such as the central nervous system. Such integration would provide complementary multiscale data to bridge the gap between molecular and anatomical phenotypes, potentially revealing new insights into molecular mechanisms underlying anatomical pathologies presented on MRI. Automatic coregistration between 3D MSI/MRI is a computationally challenging process due to dimensional complexity, MSI data sparsity, lack of direct spatial-correspondences, and nonlinear tissue deformation. Here, we present a new computational approach based on stochastic neighbor embedding to nonlinearly align 3D MSI to MRI data, identify and reconstruct biologically relevant molecular patterns in 3D, and fuse the MSI datacube to the MRI space. We demonstrate our method using multimodal high-spectral resolution matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) 9.4 T MSI and 7 T in vivo MRI data, acquired from a patient-derived, xenograft mouse brain model of glioblastoma following administration of the EGFR inhibitor drug of Erlotinib. Results show the distribution of some identified molecular ions of the EGFR inhibitor erlotinib, a phosphatidylcholine lipid, and cholesterol, which were reconstructed in 3D and mapped to the MRI space. The registration quality was evaluated on two normal mouse brains using the Dice coefficient for the regions of brainstem, hippocampus, and cortex. The method is generic and can therefore be applied to hyperspectral images from different mass spectrometers and integrated with other established in vivo imaging modalities such as computed tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry