Abstract: Unambiguous identification of lipids is a critical component of lipidomics studies and greatly im-pacts the interpretation and significance of their results. The level of structural detail that is avail-able for lipid identifications is largely determined by the analytical platform being used. Mass spectrometry (MS), typically coupled with liquid chromatography (LC), is the predominant com-bination of analytical techniques used for lipidomics studies, and these methods can produce fairly detailed lipid identification. More recently, ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) has begun to see greater adoption in lipidomics studies thanks to the additional dimension of separation that it provides and the added structural information that can support lipid identification. In this re-view, we survey the landscape of software tools that are available for analysis of IMS-MS-based lipidomics and we evaluate lipid identifications produced by these tools using open access data sourced from the peer-reviewed lipidomics literature. There are relatively few software tools available for lipidomics data analysis that support IMS-MS, which reflects the still limited adop-tion of IMS for lipidomics as well as the limited software support. This fact is even more pro-nounced when considering novel IMS-MS-based applications such as determination of double bond positions or integration with MS-based imaging. Taken together, we conclude that develop-ment of software tools for analysis of IMS-based lipidomics data is an area of critical importance to the field and significant efforts should go toward expanding this landscape.
Published: May 24, 2023