AMOLF is led by Prof Heeren. The Heeren group is one of the world leaders in high resolution molecular imaging of biological surfaces where AMOLF provides a unique, state-of-the-art infrastructure for atomic and molecular imaging of surfaces. It targets the development and application of state-of--art mass spectrometry based molecular imaging approaches. The application of molecular imaging using mass spectrometry in molecular histology is one of the breakthrough technologies in modern biomedical research.


General description A specialist biomolecular imaging group which provides a unique, state-of-the-art infrastructure for atomic and molecular imaging of surfaces.
Staff Expertise Prof Ron Heeren‘s group is currently one of the world leaders in high resolution molecular imaging of biological surfaces. This leading position has been realized through a concerted research effort on three topics (a) the fundamental physics of desorption and ionization of large biomolecules (b) the development of innovative instruments and methods for the generation of ultrahigh resolution molecular images and (c) the development and application of mass spectrometry based molecular imaging to molecular histology for nanomedicine and biomedical research.
Key facilities and infrastructure

The mass spectrometry based molecular tissue imaging facility at AMOLF is equipped with a 9.4T MALDI/ESI Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance imaging mass spectrometer, a 7T LTQ-FTICR system for atmospheric ionisation and imaging, a Bruker Ultraflex III ToF/ToF MALDI molecular imager, a Physical Electronics TRIFT II high resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) ToF-MS system, the TRIFT II based AMOLF mass microscope for direct ion imaging with MALDI and SIMS and a Waters MALDI Synapt HDMS system for conformational molecular imaging.

Previous involvement in Research Programmes
  • EU-STREP Computis, computational tools for imaging mass spectrometry (FP6-LSHG-CT-2005-5181194)
  • EU-IP targeted delivery of nanomedicine MEDITRANS (FP6- 2006, EU IP NMP-26668)
  • Marie Curie Early Stage Training Program POLY-MS (MEST-CT-2005-021029)
Current Involvement in Research Programmes
  • BSIK-COMMIT e-biobanking for molecular imaging with mass spectrometry
  • BSIK-NPC, Heeren directs the emerging technologies in mass spectrometry program
  • EU-COST BM-1104 MSI: New Tools for Healthcare Research
  • STW-OTP 11956 research program on new detections systems for X-ray and particle imaging
  • Cillero-Pastor B. et al, Arthritis Rheum. 2012 doi: 10.1002/art.37799. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Jungmann J. & Heeren R. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2013; 15;27(1):1-23
  • Chugtai K. & Heeren R. Chem. Reviews 2010; 110:3237-3277



Adamczak J. et al. (2015).
Poststroke angiogenesis, Con: Dark side of angiogenesis.
- DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.007642
Keuters M. et al. (2015).
Transcranial direct current stiumulation promotes the mobility of engrafted NSCs in the rat brain.
- doi: 10.1002/nbm.3244
Škrášková K. et al. (2015)
Precise anatomical localization of accumulated lipids in Mfp2 deficient murine brains through automated registration of SIMS images to the Allen Brain Atlas.
- doi: 10.1007/s13361-015-1146-6
Tzoumas S. et al.
Spatiospectral denoising framework for multispectral optoacoustic imaging based on sparse signal representation.
- doi: 10.1118/1.4893530
Tzoumas S. et al.
Immune cell imaging using multi-spectral optoacoustic tomography.
- doi: 10.1364/OL.39.003523
Shah D et al. (2015)
Acute modulation of the cholinergic system in the mouse brain detected by pharmacological resting-state functional MRI.
- doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.01.009

Read More

Funded by the EC

Project BRAINPATH is supported by, and carried out within the FP7 Programme IAPP, funded by the EC


Supported by



Contact Us

+31 (0)487-532641
PO Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.