Lipids are one of the main building blocks of cellular life and represent the most abundant class of biomolecule by weight. Some of their most obvious roles include providing a source of energy storage within cells and creating barriers to compartmentalize cells by forming boundaries between cells and organelles. More recently, the roles that lipids and lipid metabolites play in cellular signaling have been increasingly revealed by the scientific community, fueling interest in this field. Chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry has emerged as an eminent analytical tool with which to study lipids, however not without challenges along the way. This chapter first summarizes some of the recent developments in the use of chromatography to separate complex lipid samples in an efficacious manner including the presentation of new techniques to increase precision and avoid sample carryover. The latter part of the chapter details recent strategies to chemically derivatize lipids to enhance their analytical characteristics for separation and analysis by mass spectrometry with the aim to gain greater insight into the roles that these biomolecules play in living systems.

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Series NATO Science for Peace and Security Series A: Chemistry and Biology
Shields, S.W.J. (Samuel W. J.), Canez, C.R. (Carlos R.), Wasslen, K.V. (Karl V.), Lee, H. (Hyunmin), Stalinski, D. (Danisz), Trouborst, L. (Lennart), … Smith, J. C. (2017). Enhancing the analysis of complex lipid samples through developments in chromatography and chemical derivatization. In NATO Science for Peace and Security Series A: Chemistry and Biology. doi:10.1007/978-94-024-1113-3_11