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Evaluating lipid mediator structural complexity using ion mobility spectrometry combined with mass spectrometry

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Aim: Lipid mediators (LMs) are broadly defined as a class of bioactive lipophilic molecules that regulate cell-to-cell communication events with many having a strong correlation with various human diseases and conditions. LMs are usually analyzed with  LC–MS, but their numerous isomers greatly complicate the measurements with essentially identical fragmentation spectra and LC separations are not always sufficient for distinguishing the features.

Results/methodology: In this work, we characterized LMs using ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) coupled with MS (IMS–MS). The collision cross-sections and m/z values from the IMS and MS analyses displayed distinct trend lines. Specifically,

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Click here to find out more about author, Erin Baker (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; WA, USA), in our author’s perspective interview series:

Untitled design(4)Dr Erin Baker is a bioanalytical chemist with more than 18 years’ experience and over 90 publications utilizing ion mobility spectrometry in conjunction with mass spectrometry (IMS–MS) to study environmental and biological systems. In the last 12 years, she has worked on IMS–MS applications in the field of proteomics, and more recently she optimized IMS–MS metabolomic, glycomic and lipidomic separations. Her research involves the development and evaluation of high-throughput IMS–MS, SPE–IMS–MS and LC–IMS–MS analyses to quickly study numerous samples in a short time period without losing valuable biological information, as well as assessing the number and quality of features detected with IMS–MS for comparison with existing MS platforms. Dr Baker is also presently working with various informatics teams to design and implement software tools that automatically analyze the complex multidimensional SPE–IMS–MS and LC–IMS–MS data.

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