Comprehensive analysis of lipids in biological systems by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry

Tomas Cajka, Oliver Fiehn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

330 Scopus citations


Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based lipidomics has undergone dramatic developments over the past decade. This review focuses on state of the art in LC-MS-based lipidomics, covering all the steps of global lipidomic profiling.By reviewing 185 original papers and application notes, we can conclude that current advanced LC-MS-based lipidomics methods involve:. (1)lipid extraction schemes using chloroform/MeOH or methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)/MeOH, both with addition of internal standards covering each lipid class;(2)LC separation of lipids using short microbore C18 or C8 columns with sub-2-μm or 2.6-2.8-μm (fused-core) particle size with analysis time <30 min;(3)electrospray ionization in positive- and negative-ion modes with full spectra acquisition using high-resolution MS with capability to MS/MS.Phospholipids (phosphatidylcholines, phosphatidylethanolamines, phosphatidylinositols, phosphatidylserines, phosphatidylglycerols) followed by sphingomyelins, di- and tri-acylglycerols, and ceramides were the most frequently targeted lipid species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-206
Number of pages15
JournalTrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Acylglycerol
  • Biological system
  • Comprehensive analysis
  • Extraction method
  • Global lipidomic profiling
  • LC-MS
  • Lipidomics
  • Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry
  • Metabolomics
  • Phospholipid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Environmental Chemistry


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