The overall lipid structures will influence how the different lipids will be separated during the analysis. An example of a chromatographic analysis separating the different types of lipids in a blood plasma sample is shown in the figure below.
An additional dimension of separation is introduced as the effluent enters into a high-resolution mass spectrometric detector (TOF-MS). The efficient separation allow us to distinguish between lipids of different molecular weights that have identical retention time (first dimension). High and efficient separation is crucial to be able to analyse the great diversity of lipids present in biological samples such as in plasma, serum, saliva, tissues etc. The two-dimensional separation is illustrated in the figure below.
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