Lipidomics Analysis

What is Lipidomics?

The field of lipidomics emerged in 2003 and has advanced significantly in recent years, largely due to the advent of mass spectrometry (MS).

Lipidomics is a relatively new field that utilizes analytical chemistry concepts and technical instruments, most notably mass spectrometry, to conduct large-scale analyses of cellular lipids. In these few years, there has been a significant advancement in the methodology, and new applications of lipidomics in the biomedical sciences.

What is the difference between lipidomics and metabolomics?

Lipidomics analysis allows the identification and quantification of lipid species. Metabolomics, on the other hand, is the high-throughput analysis of metabolites, i.e., the substrates, intermediates, and products of cellular metabolism, starting from biofluids, cells, or tissues (Carbone et. al, 2021). Mass spectrometry coupled with liquid or gas chromatography (LC-MS or GC-MS) and/or nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) are currently used to perform metabolomics and lipidomics.

Methods Mol Biol. 2021;2285:319-328.  doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-1311-5_24.

What is the difference between “global” profiling and “targeted” lipidomics analysis?

Similar to metabolomics, untargeted lipidomics allows intended comprehensive analysis of all the measurable lipids in a sample including chemical unknowns, and targeted lipidomics is the measurement of defined groups of chemically characterized and biochemically annotated lipids(Cajka and Fiehn, 2016).

Anal. Chem. 2016, 88, 1, 524–545

What can be measured from lipidomics analysis?

With the assay that we have, approximately 1,000 lipids can be typically identified by MS/MS, while 3000 to 5000 lipids can be putatively identified by accurate mass-match. 

Lipid classes include free fatty acids, triacylglycerols, diacylglycerols, monoacyglycerols, phosphatidylinositols [PIs], phosphatidylethanolamins [PEs], phosphatidycholines [PCs], phosphatidic acids [PAs], phosphatidylglycerols [PGs], lysophosphatidylcholines [lysoPCs], lysophosphatidylserines [lysoPSs], lysophosphatidylglycerols [lysoPGs], lysophosphatidylinositols [lysoPIs], sphingolipid biosynthesis phosphate intermediates, sphinganines, ceramides, sphingomyelins, sulfatides, cerebrosides, and gangliosides

What are the common sample types for lipidomics analysis?

Lipidomics studies are usually performed on most biological sample types with complex matrices, such as blood (serum, plasma), feces, urine, cells, tissues, saliva, and other common biofluids. The sample could also be plants, microbes, or the culture medium.

Lipidomics Analyses at TMIC:

  1. Global (Untargeted) Lipidomics Profiling. Using a cutting-edge method to analyze the lipidome in both positive and negative ionization. It typically detects, identifies and relatively quantifies more than 5,000 lipids for positive ionization and more than 2,000 lipids for negative ionization. This is a one-stop analysis where it includes all sample preparation, lipid extraction, LC-MS analysis, data analysis, lipid identification, data normalization, and statistical analysis (PCA, PLS-DA, Volcano plots)
  2. Sphingolipid Synthesis Metabolism. Quantification of sphingolipid biosynthesis phosphate intermediates, sphinganines, ceramides, sphingomyelins, sulfatides, cerebrosides, and gangliosides by UPLC-MRM/MS.
  3. Targeted Lipidomics. Extraction, separation, and quantification of 4 neutral lipid classes and 9 phospholipid classes using GC-FAMES-MS.
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