Ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry for lipid biomarker analysis: (paleo)environmental applications

Scientific responsibility :

  • Arnaud Huguet
  • François Baudin
  • Swanne Gontharet

Partnership :


Funding :

  • Sorbonne Université – UMR METIS

Project ID : IDF-DIM-PAMIR-2023-1-001

Summary :

The LCLIPIDS project aims to renew the high performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) coupled to a mass spectrometer (MS) of the organic geochemistry platform (GEORG) of Sorbonne University. This equipment has until now mainly been dedicated to the analysis of specific organic molecules (lipids) of microbial origin – glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers (GDGTs). These compounds have been the subject of growing interest over the past twenty years because they are well preserved in the sedimentary archives and represent robust and reliable tools for the reconstruction of past environmental and climatic conditions. The interdisciplinary work carried out using this equipment, at the interface between chemistry/biogeosciences/paleoclimatology, has led to the development of numerous (inter)national collaborations. The renewal of our HPLC/MS by an ultra-high performance liquid chromatograph (UHPLC) coupled with a tandem mass spectrometer (MS/MS) has a dual objective: (i) to maintain our (inter)national leadership in the routine analysis of tetraethers in samples current and past natural samples and (ii) extend our analytical capacities with an equipment ensuring better separation, structural characterization and identification of all the lipids present in natural samples from present and past periods. The lack of sensitivity and specificity of our current equipment prevents the analysis of some of the natural organic compounds. The acquisition of an UPHLC-MS/MS, open to the entire scientific community and especially to the members of the DIM PAMIR, will allow the GEORG platform to remain at the forefront of research in organic geochemistry, to meet national needs for the analysis of lipids in current and past environmental samples and to continue to ensure the visibility of the GEORG platform at an international scale.