The Lipidomics Facility offers CECAD scientists the analysis of lipids in biological samples using state-of-the-art mass spectrometric techniques and data processing software. The service also includes help with the experimental design and data interpretation.

Our services focus on the following areas:

1.    Analytical Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC)

TLC provides a general overview of the lipid composition of biological samples. Lipid classes differing from each other in their head groups (e.g. phosphatidylcholines and phosphatidylethanolamines) can be separated and quantified by densitometry. The Lipidomics Facility offers the determination of glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids, and sphingolipids by TLC.

2.    Liquid Chromatography / Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS)

Mass Spectrometry allows the discrimination between distinct lipid species which only differ in their fatty acid composition. The LC/MS/MS approach includes the pre-separation of the lipid extract via a LC system. The lipids in the LC eluate are detected in the mass spectrometer by Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM). The Lipidomics Facility applies the LC/MS/MS approach for the targeted quantification of selected sphingolipids, ethanolamides as well as of cholesterol.

3.    Shotgun Lipidomics

In the Shotgun Lipidomics approach, the total lipid extract is directly infused into the mass spectrometer, i.e. without chromatographic pre-separation. The mass spectrometric detection is accomplished by applying different scan modes, which are specific for the individual lipid classes. The Lipidomics Facility uses the Shotgun Lipidomics approach for the quantification of glycerolipids, glycerophospholipids, and cholesteryl esters.

4.    Gas Chromatography with Mass Selektive Detection (GC/MSD)

GC/MSD is used for the determination of fatty acids. Furthermore, we plan to extend our GS/MSD techniques to the analysis of sterols.


In addition, the Lipidomics Facility offers support with the experimental design of lipidomics projects and with the interpretation of analytical lipid data.


Dr. Susanne Brodesser, Dipl. Chem.
Head of Lipidomics Facility 
 +49 221 478 840 15

CECAD Research Center
University of Cologne
Joseph-Stelzmann-Str. 26
50931 Köln