Lipid Analysis by Mass Spectrometry coupled with Laser Light
Kirschbaum, C.*; Pagel, K. – 2022
Lipids are small but complex biomolecules that feature an immense structural and functional diversity. The molecular structure and biological functions of lipids are intricately linked. Therefore, modern lipid analysis strives for complete structural elucidation and spatial mapping of individual species in tissues. Mass spectrometry is the uncontested key technology in lipidomics but cannot achieve this goal as a standalone technique. In particular, the distinction between frequently occurring isomers constitutes a major challenge. A promising step towards complete structural analysis of lipids consists in the coupling of mass spectrometry with laser light. Here we review recent advances in lipidomics applications employing laser-induced ultraviolet and infrared photodissociation and ion spectroscopy, which substantially increase the gain in structural information. Fundamental concepts, instrumentation and promises of these powerful emerging techniques for future lipid analysis are outlined.