High Resolution IMS-MS: A New Alternative for Lipid Analysis

High resolution ion mobility-mass spectrometry for separation and identification of isomeric lipids

M. Groessl, S. Graf and R. Knochenmuss
Analyst, 2015, DOI: 10.1039/C5AN00838G

Our IMS-TOF R&D Team has published a paper in Analyst that highlights the exciting capabilities of the IMS-TOF for lipid analysis.

Lipidomics is a particularly difficult analytical challenge due to the number of important isomeric lipid species that are known or postulated in biological samples. Current separation and identification techniques are too often insufficiently powerful, slow or ambiguous.

In this work – which was selected as a HOT Research Article in Analyst 2015 – we show that high-resolution, low-field ion mobility coupled to mass spectrometry is an important new alternative for lipidomics researchers.

For the first time, drift-tube IMS was demonstrated to be able to separate lipid isomers that differ only in position of the acyl chain, position of the double bond or double bond geometry

Differences in collision cross sections of less than 1% are sufficient for baseline separation. The same level of performance is maintained in complex biological mixtures. More than 130 high-precision reduced mobility and collision cross section values were also determined for a range of lipids. Such data can be the basis of a new lipidomics workflow, as the appropriate libraries are developed.

Get the data! Write us to request the most recent version of our lipids cross section and reduced mobility data set


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